Cleaving Rexroth

Elegy for Kenneth Rexroth

“Yes, you have taught the youth
of our generation to write political
poetry—that doesn’t offend the FBI”

—Jack Spicer, “They Murdered You:
An Elegy on the Death of Kenneth
Rexroth,” My Vocabulary Did This
To Me: The Collected Poetry of
Jack Spicer, Middletown: Wesleyan
University Press, 2008

Here in the sacred Precincts—of Dame Poetry…

We come to pay homage—to What’s His Name.

The Great Pulitzer Prize Poet—you know the one.

The Serious One—the One from San Francisco.

Who didn’t know—the Difference…

Between a Pun—and a Fart?

Oh Kenny—I wish you had more Camp Sensibility.

And maybe a little bit of—crummy Irony?

Instead of being so—Hoity-Toity about the Muse?

Why couldn’t you—enjoy Satire a little bit and Laugh?

I was just saying to—Hyrum van Glitterfuck tonight.

You know Hyrum? The Poet Laureate of Poughkeepsie?

Famous for his long love affair—with what’s his name?

You know—that famous Pulitzer Prize poet?

The one you’re opining about—all the Time?

Rexrot? Rexrat? Rexworth? Rexweak? Rexwhack?

You know—that old alcoholic Beatnik from San Francisco?

The one whose wife—ran off with Creeley and Kerouac?

What a scandal that was—and then Miss Ginsberg…

Allen just had to get her 2-bits in—that tacky HOWL!!!

What in the world did she see—in Neil Cassidy anyway?

He was just a Denver Hustler—well-endowed they say.

All his brains down there—in his bargain basement.

What a Joy in your Life—to have known these Beatniks?

Gregory Corso—how lovingly you describe him.

Almost as if you really knew him—how wonderful!!!

Really, my dear—you must write your Memoirs soon.

Rather than waste your time—schmoozing with us?

All those Exquisite Literary Secrets—you were there!!!

After all Poets are just Human Beings—like anybody else.

They’re like you and me—we’re certainly NOT perfect.

We have our Failings—we get down on our Knees.

C’mon my dear—share some tasty Tidbits about Kenny?

Sexy Rexy Rexroth—Muse of North Beach way back then?

I bet you know lots of Literary stuff—about SF?

Please don’t just drop Names—how about some Real Dirt?

I know an Editor—at The National Enquirer….

Enquiring minds—my dear dear…

They’re just dying—to hear your Story!!!

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