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KC VITAs Presents


St. Mary's Episcopal Church
1307 Holmes Rd KCMO
Friday, October 29 - 7:00 p.m.

Jackson C. Thomas, Artistic Director/Conductor
Charles Dickinson, Collaborative Pianist

Sol vertitur in tenebras

L.V. Wood (CT)

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. (Joel 2:31)


Pärt Uusberg (Estonia)

The little bird grows silent
as the wind blows.
The small flower falls asleep
caressed by the dew.
Twilight blushes as she kisses the night.
The forest trees sleep in memory and silence.
They are wistful
for my song,
now a silent memory,
as it paddles far away.


Amy Gordon (CA)

In majestic purples, with touches of gray
The shadows will linger beyond and through
The expanse of day, they will remain
Entombed in memories that seem ever changing
As we dance along the winding way
Energized by shadows, alive in thoughts
that we allow to stay
The cold wind screams in the night
Of our humanity, and shows all roads
Lead on and on, as we try to catch
The feelings that matter
To touch the bareness of our base
With radiating warmth that envelops our thoughts
And leaves you open to the beauty
of our gentleness
And the power of our lust
Two souls touch in an explosion of being
As the cold goes away, slips past us, and fades
In purple majesty, throwing shadows along our way

I. Girl with Tongue Cut Out

from Harp My Bones
Timothy Peterson (CA)

Kellyn Button, soprano

Moondown, emerging sound, wet hemmed and mussel-
loaded, she. Me. Squatted on an outcrop,
pries shells and sucks the guts clean, spit-flavored
pinkgray comfort to the molars, who miss
their mouth-pet, eely, fattened by daily
pleaseandthankyous learned at a governess’s
knee, prattle and hymn, gossip, give-us-this-day—
all gone. The teeth, naked fossils, chew cold
sea-meat. It senses salt. Meaning the mouth.
She. Me.

Quotiens lucerna impiorum

L.V. Wood (CT)

How oft is the candle of the wicked extinguished and the flood come upon them, and the sorrows of his wrath upon them? (Job 21:17)

Casting Lots

L.V. Wood (CT)

five little gods came out to play
the boisterous wind blew one away
a vassal sighs and wipes his brow
and four little gods rejoined the row

four little gods came out to play
the tumbling waves threw one away
a vassal sighs and wipes his brow
and three little gods rejoined the row

three little gods came out to play
the chopping rain hewed one away
a vassal sighs and wipes his brow
and two little gods rejoined the row

two little gods came out to play
the dauntless gale shewed one away
a vassal sighs and wipes his brow
and one little god is standing now

one little god outlasts them all
and gifts his man the reaper’s pall
what faithful wage can now replace
the dread blown cold across his face

II. Two Sisters

from Harp My Bones
Timothy Peterson (CA)
Kirsten Hyde, soprano

You snip your hair to make a mourning-brooch,
pretending it’s from my corpsebraid instead,
as I weave you a message thread by thread.
One moonless night you wake undressed before
the mirror, humming the song about the drowned
sister, and other, who held down her head,
while elsewhere, thread by thread, I make for you
what’s left of me: hair and grief and tuneless
humming, a counterpane for your son’s bed.
Soon you will come crown me in strangle-vine,
wearing a dancing gown, holding a butcher knife,
and take my hand if I live, and harp my bones
if I’m dead. Restore me thread by thread by thread.

Night Light

JD Daniel (MO)

Night from a railroad car window
Is a great, dark, soft thing
Broken across with slashes of light.

Ghost Stories of St. Mary's

as told by Fr. Charles Everson

Boil It Down

Michael Maiorana (MN)

Boil it down: feet, skin, gristle,
bones, vertebrae, heart muscle, boil
it down, skim, and boil
again, dreams, history, add them and boil
again, boil and skim
in closed cauldrons, boil your horse, his hooves,
the runned-over dog you loved, the girl
by the pencil sharpener
who looked at you, looked away,
boil that for hours, render it
down, take more from the top as more settles to the bottom,
the heavier, the denser, throw in ache
and sperm, and a bead
of sweat that slid from your armpit to your waist
as you sat stiff-backed before a test, turn up
the fire, boil and skim, boil
some more, add fever
and the virus that blinded an eye, now’s the time
to add guilt and fear, throw
logs on the fire, coal, gasoline, throw
two goldfish in the pot (their swim bladders
used for “clearing”), boil and boil, render
it down and distill,
that for which there is no
other use at all, boil it down, down,
then stir it with rose water, that
which is now one dense, fatty, scented red essence
which you smear on your lips
and go forth
to plant as many kisses upon the world
as the world can bear!

III. Becoming a Nightingale

from Harp My Bones
Timothy Peterson (CA)
Stella Dayrit Roden, soprano

Throat-first and all inarticulate, I
wing out of the warp/weft of my human
body—hollow-boned, heart squeezed to a bean,
released from the jewelry-box larynx,

all song. I made fine silk of every shut-
up-and-take it; I wove a map of who

I had once been, my hands at the shuttle,
all inarticulate fury, kerosene
and match—wildfire, the me of me

transforming. Unraveling from my loom-
body (throat-first) I find a flightpath (all

inarticulate) out of it (over
the rocks where waves break, where they’ve broken
all this spring as I watched) and go—(all song).

Et ecce equus pallidus

L.V. Wood (CT)

And I looked and beheld a pale horse. And he that sat upon him, his name was Death. And hell followed him, and power was given to him over the four parts of the earth, to kill with sword, with famine, with death and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:8)

II. Her Kind

from Songs of Love and Immolation
Steve Landis (NC)
Kaitlyn York, mezzo-soprano

I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.

I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.

I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.


Caleb Burhans (NY)
Danny Baker, organist

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden: For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:
As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.

III. Love Letter Written in a Burning Building

from Songs of Love and Immolation
Steve Landis (NC)
Kaitlyn York, mezzo-soprano

I am in a crate, the crate that was ours,
full of white shirts and salad greens,
the icebox knocking at our delectable knocks,
and I wore movies in my eyes,
and you wore eggs in your tunnel,
and we played sheets, sheets, sheets
all day, even in the bathtub like lunatics.
But today I set the bed afire
and smoke is filling the room,
it is getting hot enough for the walls to melt,
and the icebox, a gluey white tooth.

I have on a mask in order to write my last words,
and they are just for you, and I will place them
in the icebox saved for ***** and tomatoes,
and perhaps they will last.
The dog will not. Her spots will fall off.
The old letters will melt into a black bee.
The night gowns are already shredding
into paper, the yellow, the red, the purple.
The bed -- well, the sheets have turned to gold --
hard, hard gold, and the mattress
is being kissed into a stone.

As for me, my dearest Foxxy,
my poems to you may or may not reach the icebox
and its hopeful eternity,
for isn't yours enough?
The one where you name
my name right out in P.R.?
If my toes weren't yielding to pitch
I'd tell the whole story --
not just the sheet story
but the belly-button story,
the pried-eyelid story,
the whiskey-sour-of-the-****** story --
and shovel back our love where it belonged.

Despite my asbestos gloves,
the cough is filling me with black and a red powder seeps through my
our little crate goes down so publicly
and without meaning it, you see, meaning a solo act,
a cremation of the love,
but instead we seem to be going down right in the middle of a Russian
the flames making the sound of
the horse being beaten and beaten,
the whip is adoring its human triumph
while the flies wait, blow by blow,
straight from United Fruit, Inc.

Please join us immediately following the program for refreshments in the parish hall.

Kellyn Button
Tim Billingsley
Katie Brunkhorst
JD Daniel
Joshua Donaldson
Robert Dothage
Melissa Faltermeier
Katie Fischer
Page Gravely
Kirsten Hyde

Brock Mercer
Rebecca Parsons
Adam Petz
Stella Dayrit Roden
Courtney Smith
Austin Welhoff
Will Weyhrauch
Leslee Wood
Kaitlyn York

KC VITAs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on the generosity of people like you. Please consider making a tax deductible donation today by visiting the fundraising table!

Mark your calendars for our next performance:
on Sunday, February 6th at 3:00pm!