A Poem by Kevin Simmonds

From His Poetry Collection The Monster I Am Today

July 7, 2021  By Kevin Simmonds

Zeffirelli was blamed
for weighing her down

Bodice: Elizabethan
Neck: Oriental
Headdress: Egyptian

But a queen isn’t easily moved

Her subjects must animate
the black-gold motion
of her kingdom

The lighting cue got fucked
so she entered unseen
but her immortal longings—

Darling!—in darkness a flare
and I wanted to see my dancers
I did

The happening of her however
black mantis in full glide


Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931–December 1, 1989) was a noted dancer, choreographer, activist and founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


The Monster I Am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse by Kevin Simmonds

From The Monster I Am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse by Kevin Simmonds. Used with the permission of Triquarterly Books. Copyright © 2021 by Kevin Simmonds.

Kevin Simmonds
Kevin Simmonds
Kevin Simmonds is a musician and writer originally from New Orleans. He studied music at Vanderbilt University and the University of South Carolina. He is the author of two poetry collections, Mad for Meat and Bend to It, and the editor of Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality and Ota Benga under My Mother's Roof, a posthumously published collection by Carrie Allen McCray.

More Story
Greg Gerke: "We Want More Attention, We Don’t Want to Make Great Art" Greg Gerke is the guest. His new essay collection, See What I See, is out now from Zerogram Press. From the episode: Greg...