One thing I’ve learned about writing, which, in turn, has reinforced what I’ve learned about life, is that you never know what might lead to what, what might happen next. In 2002, when I was introduced by a mutual friend to composer Marty Regan in Tokyo, I had not an inkling that a decade later I’d be commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write the libretto for “The Memory Stone,” composed by Marty. Similarly, going further back, in 1990. when I wrote the poems that became “The Healing Notebooks,” I had no idea that over two decades later, composer Michael Djupstrom would set “In bed together,” one of these poems. The world premiere of “In bed together” took place on November 14, 2014, as part of the AIDS Quilt Songbook concert, Phoenix Concerts, at the Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City. I’ll include the text below. Watch and listen:
In bed together watching the t.v. news,
flipping through the entertainment section
I notice Leontyne Price will be singing
somewhere outside the city. We better go,
you tell me, might be the last time we get
to see her. Are you saying this will be
her last appearance here? Or we may not
see her again together?
Or you at all. I don’t ask
but think: What is love without
plans? Without a future? How will those
high notes sound without you?