Cindy Cox (Music and Text with John Campion)


The Shape of the Shell
(2′ x 3′)
Paper cut out, ink, metal flakes, water colors on homemade paper

More recently, the poet has worked with the composer Cindy Cox, his wife. These include HysteriaThe Other Side of the WorldThe Shape of the ShellSinging the Lines, and Nature is. All of these have been performed throughout the world and have been recorded as well. Ms. Cox used one of the poet’s Texturals for the cover of her CD, Nature Is.

The Shape of the Shell

You can find an audio of this work at this link:

Here is the text:

My daughter bade me put a shell to my ear.
That’s the sound of the ocean, I said.

Papa, is the OCEAN inside of it?

Sophia, the shape of the shell causes the sound.

Then the ocean really is the shaper of things
You throw a stick of wood out into the water
and it comes back a fish.


The Other Side of the World          (2′ x 3′)                                        prayer papers, collage,                text, ink, watercolor,                    on paper

The Other Side of the World

Here’s a YouTube audio link. Nina Assimakopoulos plays flute. Campion recites his poem.

The Other Side of the World

Here salmon ran full and red
and we ate together till our bellies sang.
Then the white brought his money
and many other things.

Now we live on stamps
and must increase the dosage,
as their doctors say.

But nothing
can rid us of the disease
or call the fish to return
from the Other Side of the World.


Album cover for Nature Is
by John Campion


Cindy Cox wrote a piece for Trombone Quartet using some Campion Text. The piece appears on an album along with two other Cox compositions.

You can listen here. The cover was painted by John Campion.


Nature IS

Nature is and our nature is
the opening of a woman leads to Xibalba
the doors of the church must open to her.


Composed by Cindy Cox and performed by trombonist, Abbie Conant, with electronic tape. The text, by Campion, follows:

bowl of regeneration, quickener of wombs
follow the mysteries of your feet
let dark ages be crucibles
wounds like flowers opening

Here is an audio file: [Not yet available]

Singing the Lines

Follow this link for a description of this work along with a score and an audio:


Light changes
the desert colors—
chewed breath filled cave paintings
with spittle
tran                                    substantiates—
and everything in it
is medicine.


Walking Naming It—
the rocks tell me
the beasts the planets the plants the water the wind—
we find our selves
singing the lines
here   to   yonder