Kelley Rourke, words
John Glover, music

I have a no-frills existence,
a modest life.
I never eat out.
I buy thrift store clothes.
No real estate.
No health insurance.
No bank account.
I use money orders and cash.
What’s left I stash.

I wouldn’t mind being one of those guys
who spend twenty years
building some massive landwork in the desert,
a sculptural dream of the future and God.
One of those guys destined to die in a tractor,
moving the never-ending piles of earth,
unfinished but still—
One of those guys, until his last breath,
implacable, relentless, and alone.
Alone, except perhaps for the young acolyte wife, desert tan,
a woman with braids and devotion,
her never-ceasing and only ambition being to help you—
a man thirty years her senior—
realize your dream,
your lifelong project, monument, statement,
your unyielding testament to—

I’m no priest.
I just slightly exist.
Lots of people in the world live like that.
They’re just more ashamed and less deliberate about it.

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Email mgray@aopopera.org

All tracks recorded at Merkin Concert Hall (Kaufman Music Center) on May 12, 2021 by the following artists. Photo of “G.I.’s Against the War” by Bev Grant.

Justine Aronson as Mary/Caroline
Amy Justman as Louise
Paul Pinto as Nash
Tim Russell as Bobby/Jason
Jonathan Woody as Henry

Mila Henry, music director and piano
Abi Fayette, violin I
Rachel Shapiro, violin II
Jessica Meyer, viola
Andrew Yee, cello
Shayna Dunkelman, drums
Liz Faure, guitar

Mike Gurfield, producer
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center:
Ken Feldman, engineer

Thank you to the following funding organizations and individual donors for their generous support of Eat the Document:

The Amphion Foundation
James and Nancy Barton
The Aaron Copland Fund for Music
The Howard Gilman Foundation
Charles Jarden
Norman Ryan

Eat the Document is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

copyright AOP@2021