For voice and piano, text by Matthew Doherty (2008) – 5 minutes
World Premiere: 2008, American Opera Projects Composers and the Voice series, Matthew Garrett, tenor; Jennifer Peterson, piano
When you can’t show your face
in your local anymore, when you think
you remember everyone from somewhere,
when you grow tired of having to eat, of
cleaning dishes, eating again, buying bread,
cigarettes, something to read, enough
to drink, when you want nothing more but what you have
runs out and out you run
for more and each day you wonder how what little
you do is enough to sustain this weary
chain of days; when all this happens,
I am in a rut. Typical
day: I see the sun go past my window
and then it’s night: late night
TV, same old news over and over,
a girl from my town is in movies
and I’m supposed to be happy,
and I’m drinking myself awake
and I don’t feel any different
but there I am again
in the 6th-floor window,
yelling down on the swollen ranks
of morning-coffee America.
I want a more enjoyable life.
I wish I were old, Gladys,
calm and serene, so I wouldn’t
slobber over warning labels,
tether blue handguns to white balloons.
Not that I do these things now,
Gladys; just don’t ever want to.
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