The Earth Falls Down
Anne Sexton


If I could blame it all on the weather,
the snow like the cadaver's table,
the trees turned into knitting needles,
the ground as hard as a frozen haddock,
the pond wearing its mustache of frost.
If I could blame conditions on that,
if I could blame the hearts of strangers
striding muffled down the street,
or blame the dogs, every color,
sniffing each other
and pissing on the doorstep...
If I could blame the bosses
and the presidents for
their unpardonable songs...
If I could blame it on all
the mothers and fathers of the world,
they of the lessons, the pellets of power,
they of the love surrounding you like batter...
Blame it on God perhaps?
He of the first opening
that pushed us all into our first mistakes?
No, I'll blame it on Man
For Man is God
and man is eating the earth up
like a candy bar
and not one of them can be left alone with the ocean
for it is known he will gulp it all down.
The stars (possibly) are safe.
At least for the moment.
The stars are pears
that no one can reach,
even for a wedding.


Perhaps for a death.

Duo Sonata, "the Earth Falls Down" (2018)

Voice and Cello. 9'.

Texts by Ina Rousseau and Anne Sexton. Written for the Mazumal Duo for the 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music.


Eden
Ina Rousseau


Somewhere in Eden, after all this time,
does there still stand, abandoned, like
a ruined city, gates sealed with grisly nails,
the luckless garden?


Is sultry day still followed there
by sultry dusk, sultry night,
where on the branches sallow and purple
the fruit hangs rotting?


Is there still, underground,
spreading like lace among the rocks
a network of unexploited lodes,
onyx and gold?


Through the lush greenery
their wash echoing afar
do there still flow the four glassy streams
of which no mortal drinks?


Somewhere in Eden, after all this time,
does there still stand, like a city in ruins,
forsaken, doomed to slow decay,
the failed garden?‚Äč

















Performance History:

  • 30 May 2018, Cortona Sessions for New Music, Cortona, Italy. Mazumal Duo: Felicia Chen, mezzo-soprano; Olivia Harris, cello

ERIC HESSEL