How to Get Heat Without Fire

(2000)

"How to Get Heat Without Fire" is the fourth and final song of Tom Cipullo's song cycle How to Get Heat Without Fire, which sets the poetry of Marilyn Kallet.

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The recording of "How to Get Heat Without Fire," provided in the audio playlist to the right, is made possible through a collaboration between the Hampsong Foundation and SongFest. The performers are Meredith Lustig, soprano, and Liza Stepanova, piano, and the performance took place on June 19, 2010 at Pepperdine University. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

How to Get Heat Without Fire
by Marilyn Kallet


Beneath the dark floor
there has always been love,
but the trick is
how to get down to it?
Shall I tear my way down
like a tiger clawing
the floorboards, when this
tearing down is what scarred you?
Whose mother is there
in the dark trying hard
to hide you from the memory
of the floorboards in flame?
How to get heat without fire?
To coax light open?
To ease you new into
the world if I am not
a mother, or a beloved?
Pull back? Peel back dead
bark, pull back the boards
we trample, throw each other
down on and through some days?
Turn the floor into a pool
we can dive deep into,
cradle the mothers,
let the animals swim their ways?
Has music ever saved anyone?
Then I will reenter my life
as sound,
as notes strung like pearls
that you have yearned
to enter.
I will be sound,
I will be sound,
and silence,
listening.


Audio PLaylist

Videos