So someone (cannot remember who) gave me a book of e e cummings poetry, and this one was wild! I had recently fallen in love with Flos Campi, by Vaughan Williams and the idea of using (rather silly) erotic poetry as serious art music was the impetus of this piece. While working for Domino’s Pizza, my boss had given me a manuscript sketch book, probably so that I’d leave my laptop at home and stop composing while at work. So I started writing this odd little bitonal piano part and very solemn vocal line, and a few days later this gem came to be.
she,straddling my lap
hinges(wherewith I tongue each eager pap)
and,reaching down,by merely fingertips
the hungry Visitor steers to love’s lips
Whom(justly as she now begins to sit,
almost by almost giving her sweet weight)
O,how those hot thighs juicily embrace!
and (instant by deep instant) as her face
watches, scarcely alive, that magic Feast
greedily disappearing least by least—–
through what a dizzily palpitating host
(sharp inch by inch) swoons sternly my huge Guest!
until(quite when our touching bellies dream)
unvisibly love’s furthest screts rhyme.
Jesse Wakeman, tenor
Ian Scott, piano