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Revell & Doyle-Gillespie – February 2019

Edward Doyle-Gillespie and Faith Revell traded art and words. Faith shared this painting, titled “Hope Unmoored,” with Edward:

In response, Edward wrote this poem:

On the Merits of a Gleaned Pomegranate

The summer that I finally came home,
we sat in your kitchen
and you taught me how
to eat a pomegranate.
You had collected three of them
from the women
who had collected all them
from the cast-offs of
the market that now stood where
I only remembered an empty lot.
You bought them for nothing
from the women who,
you think,
spoke Portuguese as they
hauled box after box
of broken, ugly fruit from
the rusted bed of an
ancient pick-up truck.
You told me that you cannot
peel a pomegranate,
or let your blade have a
dalliance with the thick, ruby hide.
You must cleave it straight through,
you showed me,
and scoop out the gleaming pulp
like the gore of an open wound.
So, I listened,
my leg wrapped
to the chair’s leg,
and I cursed the river,
and the promises
made in serpentine words
that have kept me away
for so damned long.

* * * * *

Edward shared this poem with Faith:

Aerial Act

He took the photo just as the tightrope walker fell.
It was the only time that the circus came through
his town, he told us.
He remembered how his father
clutched his hand like death
against the crush of the crowd in that tent –
the acrid breath of his old man’s
whiskey solace drifting down over him,
his swaying patriarch looking down
and telling him to take his
pictures wisely with the little pawn shop camera
that he had somehow swindled
away from its rightful owner.
Finding the photo all of these years later,
looking at the image that was
smeared across time from him to me,
I imagined that the arching vaults
of that canvas cathedral smelt of dung
from exotic animals, and of the men who wore
hours of labor crusted into the fabric of
flannel shirts.
I imagined him –
the sun-burnished child that he was –
taking a short, stifled gasp of that stench
as the beautiful woman in her leotard
paused on a wire high above him,
reached out with one foot,
and instead of the rigid reassurance
of a coiled cord, found
only the warm, fetid air.

In response, Faith made this painting, titled “In Our Falling Down”:

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