Post-weekend Poetry 094: Kenneth Rexroth Has a Posse by Phillip Ellis

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the ninety-third poem in this series. This week’s piece is by freelance critic, poet and scholar Phillip A Ellis.

Kenneth Rexroth Has a Posse

Kenneth Rexroth has a posse:

no decent, law-breaking hoodlum is safe

from a drive-by dramatic monologue

or assault-and-poetry in the alleyways.

Look out, cool cats, he’s striking a pose

of ineffable worldweariness and ennui

while scratching a sestina with a match

on the bonnet of a cop-car. How droll!

And, with a much-practiced sneer,

as the good sergeant steps up with night-stick,

he stoops to conquer with a well-aimed blow

from a lethal-looking villanelle or rispetto.


I asked Phillip what prompted this piece and he said…

Some of my poems come from a title or a first line that comes to me suddenly, and without warning. It was the first line of this poem that came to me, and the concept of a distinguished poet as a clichéd juvenile delinquent got me writing. The poem came easily, as did its form.

‘assault-and-poetry’ I loved it. 🙂 Thank you, Phillip.


Phillip EllisPhillip A. Ellis is an Australian poet, critic and scholar. In addition, he compiles bibliographies and concordances. His The Flayed Man, has been published by Gothic Press, and he is working on A Harvest, for Diminuendo Press. Another collection has been accepted by Hippocampus Press, which published his concordance of Donald Wandrei’s poetry. He is the editor of Melaleuca, a journal of poetry. He has recently had Symptoms Positive and Negative, a chapbook of poetry about his experiences with schizophrenia, published by Picaro Press, and Arkham Monologues published by Atlantean Publishing.

Phillip lives in northeastern New South Wales, and derives inspiration Australia’s landscapes, wildlife and people. He also loves to respond to Australian poetry, from poets such as Brennan and Slessor, up to contemporaries such as Tranter and Stuart Barnes. He also finds inspiration in his many interests.

Phillip’s poetry relies on a strong sense of technique. As a result, he has had over nine hundred poems published in places such as Jacket, Bluepepper, Freefall, and Contemporary Rhyme. A certain proportion of his poetry is speculative verse, since science fiction, horror and fantasy are among his interests. He is also interested in working further with narrative and prose poetry.

Phillip’s website is


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