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Williams & Doyle-Gillespie – Baltimore Ekphrasis Project

Edward Williams and Edward Doyle-Gillespie traded art and words. Edward W. shared this painting, entitled “Mt. DeSales,” with Edward:


In response, Edward Doyle-Gillespie wrote this poem:

Far from Enoch

I can wait until later
to tell her about the old man.
It can wait until the final toasting
and the dancing and the tuxedo bacchanal praising
are done.
When we’ve left through the white gape
of the driveway arch,
and she is rubbing the ritual out of her
stocking feet I will explain
that he walked without his cane
when he pulled me away
from the other groomsmen
to tell me his story.
I will tell her that he was
a vintner, once.
It wasn’t far from here,
at a place that also had a white gateway
and also had a ghost
as mournful as the one
who lingers here.
It clung to her
as she danced like Salome
at the wedding tonight,
he told me.
The old vintner was the only one who
could see it swirling around her,
just like he was the only one
who could see the twins
he said she carries beneath
her satin dress and the churning
curves of her body.
He told me to drink my wine
while I still could,
to watch you dance
in that gloaming light,
and to keep an ear out
for when the blood cries out
from the soil.

* * * * *

Edward Doyle-Gillespie shared this poem with Edward:

Queensberry Rules

My father taught me how to box.
He said it was once a gentleman’s
sport – a manly art meted out
in the half-light of our garage.
He said I could use it to defend myself.
I can still feel the cold burning
in the back of my throat,
and my spit turning
to a gray paste at the corners
of my mouth, as he showed
me how to hammer a rhythm
on the ragged cast-off bag from
the Druid Hill Avenue Y.
He told me to strike it
as if the canvas was hot –
snapping my meager fists
back as I jabbed and crossed
at the indifference of the sack.
As our labored breath formed
clouds and coils in the air,
my father told me to keep
my hands up,
to breathe through my nose,
and to always, always
guard my face.

In response, Edward Williams made this painting, entitled “Boxer of Queensbury Rules”:



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