This is my studio for exploring my work. Consider these drafts.

So much for the fruit

I was reading St. Bernard's sermons on the Song of Songs today, as I'm tempted to do on quiet afternoons. I seek him out for the extravagance of language and images that come from his monkish mind. It's how I get my thrills.

...These three include all the artifices by which the present life deceives its unhappy lovers , even as St John proclaimed: “All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.” So much for the fruit of the redemption.
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs

So much for the fruit. But one can love the fruit and peel it, too. And is a bite so bad at all?

I've been keeping secrets

Please forgive me, I've been keeping so many secrets from you all. So many beautiful secrets. I promise to share more of them with you in 2016, but for now here are a few that I have on my mind and would like to share. Give me your ear and let me whisper to you...

You'll find some more secrets here if you're one of those extra curious types...

Dispatches from a vague case of ocean fever

Three postcards, one for each.
Dispatches from the vague case of ocean fever
that I claimed when I dipped underground,
Out of their reach.

One cropped full of bikinied throngs
for the breathless, tractor-beaming Lothario
who wooed with absurd promises
and hot prose studded with “now” and "ache"
and "aroma"

One, more reserved, of cactus-flower cliffs
for the ex-pat glacier-chaser
who filled a secret mailbox
with arctic trophies
and a lust recently paroled.

One just a photo of my feet in the sea
for the landlocked vet of an unnamed war
who drummed and gunned and Sturm und Drang me,
who held my mouth upside down and
shook loose change from my words, 
who, oiling the hinge in the back of my neck,
inspired an aura of creative convulsion,
and whose hair inexplicably left sand in my sheets. 

- S.M. Simões

My vineyard is my own

I am the rose of Sharon,
the lily of the valley.

Stay me up with raisin-cakes,
cushion me with quinces
for I am in a swoon of love.

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth

My vineyard is my own.
You can have the thousand, Solomon,
and two hundred for the keepers of its fruit.
— The Song of Songs

Up to half the kingdom

And it happened on the third day that Esther donned royal garb and stood in the inner court of the king’s house opposite the king’s house with the king sitting on his royal throne in the royal house opposite the entrance to the house.

And the king said to her, ‘What troubles you, Queen Esther, and what is your request? Up to half the kingdom and it will be granted to you.’
— The Book of Esther

Honeysuckle Rose

I came calling with a Fats Waller LP under my arm and a fistful of flame lilies behind my back. A shower cloud came and went between the time I heard your voice sing out 'round back and the tumblers in the lock fell down. You took my soggy cap and accepted a kiss on the cheek. I knocked around your bar and fixed us up some poor man's Sazeracs (Canadian Club and Pernod will do just nicely, if you've got enough ice) while you floated about the length of your shotgun shack looking for a vase. Your red-taloned fingers considered all manner of sparkly juice glasses and yesterday’s champagne bottles until I lost sight and smell of you. Then you returned, dropped the album on the hi-fi and took a seat beside me. We sipped slowly, silently in the parlor, letting the swamp air hang between us. I searched your face, but your eyes absorbed all gesture and suggestion. Haunted, guarded, or maybe just high.

When I'm taking sips from your tasty lips,
Seems the honey fairly drips

Another rain cloud passed, and I thought to take my leave. You arose suddenly and clasped my hand.   

"Be a gentleman," you whispered, "and help me draw a bath."

  • Text by S.M. Simões

With my dear friend, the lovely Lucy.

Summer in Brooklyn

Summer in Brooklyn is coal-oven hot and obscenity-washed and sun-weary and smelly and goddamn beautiful and heavy with watching, watching this carnival strut down the avenues, onto the stoop-sitting streets, into your home that's seen a hundred summers come and go (and more). Summer in Brooklyn expands you. And I daresay it's a better place to be than most (or all).