Kristina Marie Darling is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Night Songs
(Gold Wake Press, 2010) and Compendium (Cow Heavy Books, 2011). She has been
awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the Ragdale Foundation, and the Virginia Center for
the Creative Arts, as well as grants from the Vermont Studio Center and the Elizabeth
George Foundation. Her editorial projects include an anthology, narrative (dis)continuities:
prose experiments by younger american writers
(VOX Press, 2011), and a volume of
critical essays forthcoming from Cambridge Scholars Press.

Footnotes to a History of the Corsage

1. Two of the darkest lilies, which he fastened at the shoulder of her green silk dress.

2. On nights like this the dance hall groaned with their erratic foxtrot. A phonograph spinning beneath dim chandeliers.

3. "I had wanted to transcend the ordinary, with its brick houses and gardens of white crocuses. Now the most bourgeois ribbons gathered at my wrist."

4. Courtship.
1. The act, period, or art of seeking love with the intent to marry.
†2. A set of inherited conventions or customs.
‡3. The solicitation of praise, favors, etc.

5. The mural depicts her attempt to maintain a noctuary, detailing his adulation of her finer points. Despite numerous scholarly articles devoted to the work's inscription, art historians have not yet discovered the fate of her milky-eyed beloved.

6. She slipped a flower in his coat pocket to preserve the ritual, its delicate structure. But before long the music stopped. The phonograph still spinning beneath its luminous needle.

7. The film (c. 1988) follows a woman through a series of broken engagements. Although several attempts have been made to differentiate between the four men, the problem seems intrinsic to her own psychology.

8. Melancholia. A state of mourning for the lost object.

9. "It was then I remembered the dance hall, his ominous presentation of the corsage. A manicured garden held by the most intricate clasp."

10. When she unpinned the lilies, a quiet upheaval. The most startling numbness in each of her fingertips.

Footnotes to a History of Psychoanalysis

1. A lengthy message, in which she describes the analyst's shelves of priceless Egyptian statuettes.

2. In order to effectively describe the recurring dream, in which a luminous white horse appeared to her, she sent a wire after their office had closed. The steel dials clicking into the dark blue night.

3. "Ever since I had wished for the collection, but also the role of its proprietor. To catalogue his little Vishnu idols and the disquieting canopic jars."

4. Disturbance.
1. A distressed mental state.
†2. An interruption or intrusion.
3. A minor movement of the earth, often resulting in a small earthquake or the formation of a mountain.

5. According to Havelock Ellis, author of The World of Dreams (1911), her luxurious chalet alone did not constitute a refuge. It was only after the blizzard, when the region's telegraph wires had collapsed under ice, that she could be said to have retreated from the conflict.

6. Every house in the province contained an elaborate collection of bone china, which was rimmed with tiny black crocuses. Before long she found herself enthralled by the luxurious dishes. Her notebooks compare their dark flowers to a silhouette projected against towering snowdrifts.

7. The album depicts his collection of Mediterranean sea glass and various relics from the shrines of saints. While several attempts have been made to recover the artifact, it is suspected to have been lost in the avalanche.

8. Vorstellen. Translated from the German as imagined.

9. To reconcile the disparity between her mind and the external world, the analyst prompted her to maintain a record of these perceptions.

10. Upon examination, her small red notebook contained the most elaborate diagrams. Even the mountainous vistas were depicted as intricate machines.

11. The message sent after their final session, in which she describes his prized statue shattered on the ledge.

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