Unearthing House: The Final Songs of Gay Spree Murderer Andrew Cunanan

Mardi Gras

Across the club is a man on fire—
phoenix of mine
burnt offering of cologne
Calvin Klein briefs
tight abs and arias
on vinyl.
I’m fierce with house and tonic

how they see me, feel me, taste
but never hear me.

Dangerous geisha,
you’re so comely.
Tell me, where’d you fashion that kimono—
so dark?

Song of David

Amulet and apricot
give my voice an expensive
leathery sound.
It never grows dull—this life
Everything fulfilled
with imagination.

a father who worked in the Marcos regime
isn’t glamorous
but half a world away
it delivers your hands from calluses and blood—
if only temporarily.

Pardon me
but didn’t we meet at one of David’s parties?
Yes, David Madson. Yes.
He was found on the edge of a lake in Rush City
just north of Minneapolis.


Possessing you seems impossible now.
Your closed eyes scan my body—
useless and contracted
on morning relevance.
Last night our bodies seemed endless.

Am I your renaissance winch,
parting mouthfuls of hair in your lap?
This morning as penance,
I’ll take whatever you give.

Aria on Vinyl

Sipping tea with Versace
and I see him
beyond skin and insignia—
my final broach.
I am plaid and khaki. He—
the whole world.

Kevin Simmonds is a writer and musician originally from New Orleans. His writing has appeared in Field, jubilat, Poetry, and elsewhere. He edited the poetry collection Ota Benga Under My Mother’s Roof, forthcoming from the University of South Carolina Press. His music has been performed in the US, the UK, Japan and the Caribbean. Most recently, he composed the music for the documentary, Hope: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica, which won an Emmy Award in 2009.