Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black

Mueller Cookie

Fiction, autobiography
Mueller Cookie


Mueller’s work, her life and her writing are all experiencing sudden exposure, due in part to a resurgent attention to the legacy of the AIDS crisis (as mentioned elsewhere). She was also an actress and a friend of John Waters, and appeared in many of his films – she was one of the Dreamlanders, and appeared in Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, Multiple Maniacs and others. Mueller writes as though cluing you in to the importance of nuance – her voice is gregarious and sometimes almost forcefully naïve – to my mind it forms a suggestion that there might be something generative in paying close attention to other forms of intelligence or knowledge. Like nudging for a full awareness of the fact that a move into the unknown can sometimes be the best thing. Mueller almost writes in shapes, she pulls any former understandings of emotion into strange new forms. It seemed possible to continue shifting from one adventure to another – holding up all the weird protective amulets she accumulated in the many moments of danger or harm she encountered. Reading it again now, I wondered whether the most alluring draw is how clear her voice feels and the freedom it implies.