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Ledford & Tolia – November 2017

Vasundhara Tolia and Alex Ledford traded art and words. Vasu shared this painting, titled “Peevish Paramour,” with Alex:

In response, Alex wrote this poem:

Peevish Paramour

It’s near ten after the hour; why hasn’t he come?
I’m melting into the floorboards with my thirst.
The pressing, stagnant mesh of afternoon
clouds move over the sun, swinging the curtains
like a cat might, batting at a dust mite
or a light suspended in air. Petals heave
from rose to bowl, mascara-lashes-like,
and float, impatient: solemn tread of heavy
huffs. Aimless pacing pretends a purpose,
scissors snip buds, clanging like a stopped watch,
its numbered face (a listless, open face)
transparent; shift, gauzy slip back out
to a knock—thank god, it’s nearly seven,
I’m parched and won’t wait another second.

* * * * *

Alex shared this poem with Vasu:


everything smelled of mossy wood
at the stream behind my house
I scooped fistfuls of baked mud

the hollows spoke
of the markings of animals

foxes, bird dogs

but we couldn’t find any
so imagined them
chocolate ice cream smeared around your mouth
a grotesque harlequin

and I pretended I had got
too much mustard on my clothes to wear them

we took them off
when it rained
I was small but I felt something
sticky between my legs
when I put my toes in the cool wet leaves
my tiny nipples stood erect

I cut my foot
on a sliver of green glass
behind a wall of earth

In response, Vasu made this painting, also titled “Spawn”:

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