The Darkness in My Pockets

Click on "play" to hear the first 1'30" of Lillian's Chair, the first song of The Darkness in My Pockets. This recording is by Linda Poetschke, soprano and Christine Debus, piano

Instrumentation: Voice (soprano), Piano
Year Composed: 2002
Duration: 13 minutes
Text by: Olga Cabral (text is in English)
Pages: 19

I. Lillian's Chair
II. ...doors that groan in the night because they remember being trees...
III. Song of Wednesday

How to get it: Contact David Heuser directly


Mike Greenburg, writing in the San Antonio Express-News about a recital given by Linda Poetschke (4/10/2003):

"David Heuser's lovely portrait of a departed woman, "Lillian's Chair," was one of several songs with a valedictory quality."

The same critic wrote about a performance of the piece on February 28, 2008:
"Heuser's tender vocal line and economical, suggestive piano support are deeply sensitive to the nuances of the text..."

The Darkness in My Pockets

Texts for songs:

I. Lillian's Chair

Lillian has just arisen from her chair.
She has gone into her garden to commune with snails
to answer the birds' questions.
She has left her shawl and her cane
and that iron leg brace.
Won't she need her shawl in the garden?
Won't she be feeling the cold?

And she has forgotten her sling
thrown it carelessly aside -
the crumpled black satin
in which she cradled her dead arm
for seventeen years.
In one hand she took her straw basket
in the other her pruning shears:
"That bush needs seeing to," she muttered
and went looking for red clover, queen anne's lace.

What is she doing so long in the garden?
Where has she gone with her red hair?
She just grew tired of sitting and watching.
A vivid light pulled her into the leaves.
Woolen shawl, satin sling, iron brace -
she just walked out on them all.

Left us this empty chair.

II. ...doors that groan in the night because they remember being trees...

(this excerpt is from the poem House of the Poet)

III. Poem of Wednesday

Somehow or other
I'm stuck in Wednesday
and can't get out.
You say it isn't bad
this Wednesday? Well, consider
if you've nowhere to go
but Wednesday
if the borders have been sealed
and your passport to the next
24 hours
has been lifted

I am looking for Thursday
on Wednesday
Thursday a way out
to Friday.
But I'm still here in Wednesday
a country of dolts and smugglers
Wednesday's cares the color of
gray phlegm.

Wednesday when the week sags
like a wet washline
Wednesday with its clocks
always turned to the walls
Wednesday when the bus arrives
to get you our of there
but passes you by
the Chief Smuggler waving from the driver's seat
leaving you at the curb
in the middle of Wednesday.

Wednesday with its sullen hotels
and rundown cafes
always full
no reservations
waiters pushing you out

Wednesday when nobody has met you
and you have met nobody
but clerks and smugglers
all day
and Friday
Friday with its metallic
blue butterflies
a far-off country
across sealed borders
of perilous time zones.

These poems, which are all from the book The Darkness in My Pockets published 1976 by Gallimaufry,
are reprinted with the kind permission of the estate of Olga Cabral.
All poems Copyright 1976 by Olga Cabral.

 Non Sequitur Music, Inc
Copyright 2013, David Heuser
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