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Exquisite Fantastic: Edward Doyle-Gillespie

February 14, 2020

What is Exquisite Fantastic? See the full collection of Exquisite Fantastic projects here.

Contributor 8: Edward Doyle-Gillespie, February 14, 2020

The Pele Allowance

You had a lover who ate fire.
She painted her face
in oily black-and-red,
and wore a second-skin
that made her look like the pyre of
a rioter’s rage each time she moved.
She would go the corner of this or that street
when the midday men broke free,
and she would twirl herself
with her head canted back.
She would catch glimpses and slices
of the red-brick canyon
in her fractured vision,
and the men would become statues for her.
She would take torches into her mouth
and they would fall in love with her.
She would spit her napalm over their heads,
and they would follow
the wake of her ashes,
taking crisply-folded bills from
tailored pockets.
Your lover would spin herself
in a cloak of dreadlocks,
fling fragments of fire into the air
like a dervish majorette,
and the men would search fruitlessly
for the plastic bucket
or the worn top hat
in which they could
lay their tributes.

Edward’s Inspiration: The first thing I did was look at the first images to pop up and take hold of my first impressions. I decided to honor the first words to pop into my head. I got “UPSIDE DOWN” and” INVERTED” and “SPINNING.” I felt myself in motion in stone context that hinted at a bit of danger. My brain took away bricks and buildings to go along with that. I put the images away. I jotted down some notes, went back, and saw what looked like spangles or flecks of fire contrasting themselves against the edifices.  I pretty much eschewed anything resembling rational cognition or author intent.

See the work that inspired Edward here.

Edward Doyle-Gillespie is a detective in the Baltimore City Police Department. He holds a degree in History from George Washington University, and an MLA from Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of three books  – Masala Tea and Oranges, On the Later Addition of Sancho Panza , and Socorro Prophesy.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2020 6:43 pm

    Remarkable vivid work. Was soooo glad to read Mr. Doyle-Gillespie’s explanation about “honoring the first words to pop into his head.” They are usually very very trustworthy. We are “animals” after all, with instincts we have to trust. Sure would be nice to be in touch with him…

  2. February 14, 2020 6:47 pm

    So impressed with this poemAm I supposed to see an image also? It’s nowhere as far as I can tell…I can only imagine.Linda Campbell Franklin

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