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Floating Horses

Dreamed 1972/8/10 by Wayan

THAT DAY Miss Bianca, in 'The Rescuers' by Margery Sharp; ink by Garth Williams (c) 1959. Click to enlarge.

See the film A Clockwork Orange. Alex the Beethoven-loving murderer gets brainwashed--both Beethoven and violence sicken him. That doesn't work out well.

Then read Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick. Creativity is all very cool, but what about honest repairmen? Surely mending the broken keeps civilization running too. Trust Dick to point out how snobs devalue the working class. Less flashy than Clockwork Orange, but subtler too. The Pot-Healer finally tries making his own art. It stinks. Of course. At first. Patience!

Read The Rescuers and Miss Bianca, kids' books by Margery Sharp. Not great stories, but great ink drawings by Garth Williams of a brave, clever, sexy mouse courtesan I'd like to marry... if only I were the right size.

Then study Pogo by Walt Kelly. Full of animal characters--vivid motion and emotion. What a cartoonist! This time it's Mademoiselle Hepzibah the skunk I fall for.

THAT EVENING

At my cartooning class at College of San Mateo, I try drawing Pogo, Albert the excitable 'gator, and Hepzibah. I struggle just to get the basic look of the characters. Can't capture Walt Kelly's dynamism or Garth Williams's expressiveness. Not by a long shot.
Pogo, the opossum in 'Pogo' by Walt Kelly; sketch by Wayan 1971. Albert, the alligator in 'Pogo' by Walt Kelly; sketch by Wayan 1971. Hepzibah the skunk in 'Pogo' by Walt Kelly; sketch by Wayan 1971.

Not yet. But I'm sure it took them time to master their art too. Patience!

THAT NIGHT...

I draw a Pogo comic strip on a shed wall, as I'm told
of Good and Bad immortals; then, atop a cliff, a very old
Italian friend & I meet a Demon, from Pogo drawn. It gives
my friend a strange boon since he's the longest-lived
mortal on Earth: turns us both to levitating
horses! Our herd stampedes--chasing, hating
that Ranger who confiscates our clover.
I contemplate A Clockwork Orange as we skim over
Benicia Ridge; slaloming through tree tops
holding our horse-altitude as the scree drops.
Downslope, wind-sheltered, eucalyptus rise. So tall
their crowns barely ebb--a mere six yards below us air
horses on our fog divans. But to the ball
courts where tennisers pause to stare
at floating palominos in the air...
a forty-odd-yard fall.

Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.
Exhale, drift down, land light. Wary, ready to bound
through a fence-gap back to ether when
a scary Silversuit descends.
An ancient Inuit inside. Dead of course. Unlike fog-horse,
when these aerial Suiters die,
They drift on wind like snow. Till dwindled, dry,
their mummies randomly touch down.
There the Groundsman takes them. Where we go
even angel horses don't yet know. Meantime, around
our regatta herd, silver death-reminders dot the sky.
Tennis player looks up past eucalypti as floating horses in the sky. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

NOTES IN THE MORNING

FORTY-FIVE YEARS LATER



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