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Lehrmann & James – May 2020

F.X. James and Erin Lehrmann traded art and words. Erin shared this untitled image with F.X.:

In response, F.X. wrote this untitled poem:

Windswept, there was another lapse in thought, then a sudden
wash of doubt. Too much, or too little. Promises made, all fickle
and forgotten as the weather this day. The coast was never really
his thing. Or was it? On the drive down, saying his own name over
and over, he was blinded at one point; a phosphorus glare igniting
from deep in the wet holds behind his eyes. Immolated, he was sure
his knuckles had torn through their little cowls of withered flesh
as the steering wheel writhed organically. Had he killed anyone then?
How could he know. Windswept, he walked further inland, losing
the car, its make and color, and the keys, which had surely been
stolen from him (like his name). Remember, he said, remember.
But even that word was fading. Untethered, it rose up black against
the bullied sea. Laughing wildly, he watched it go, as a passing
mother pulled her daughter close, and a small dog pissed on his foot.
* * * * *
F.X. shared this poem with Erin:

we roll this way

The 3 of us, made blind to possibility. White canes,
with red bands demarcating the dead years. Dark lasses
smeared with colorful poison. We move without touching.
Speak without language. In each space, a single face
observes: hands so small and slow. Vicious fingers accuse.
By the third hour we are dead to one another. We cannot
abide the air we share. Hatred lurks near broken chairs.
We drown our hands in pails of black water. Rags fall like
ruined pelts. There is not a drop of love here. The sun yearns
to touch us, just once, at our combustible core. How we roll
this way: stone men in caverns of burnt light. One of us even
mad enough to cry NO MORE! before nodding off on his hot
feet; his goat ears plugged with the din of ineffable dreams.

In response, Erin made this image, titled “Stone men in caverns of burnt light”: