San Francisco poet and musician, Kevin Simmonds, trained as classical singer but grew up in jazz, blues and gospel-drenched New Orleans. His poems travel the distance from a southern spiritual's lamentation to gay men in a Bangkok sex club to competitive hot dog eating. With tender expansiveness that Jane Hirshfield says calls to mind "Whitman's America's future" and his "unquestionable sense of music" (Kwame Dawes), Simmonds readily turns to assess what causes others consternation, shame and fear: be it sexual abuse, racism, organized religion or sexual mutilation. In considering all our lives and circumstances, he meditates on the apple tree: "crouched down as if something brutal had happened / for the sweetness to come."
Kevin gives an overview of the book:
If today is the day I become a man
today I will grow taller than my father
and my voice will descend
slow to deliberateness
I will settle on a way and finally understand
the apple tree
crouched down as if something brutal had happened
for the sweetness to come
I'm originally from New Orleans & can't say enough about how much that influences everything I am and do. I've published some poetry, essays & reviews in 42opus, jubilat, Massachusetts Review, FIELD, Poetry & elsewhere...