Almanac Poetry: Death of Presley




Death of Presley


The King died on the dunny,

his silk pyjamas ankle-low.

Just underlines the old saying, I guess

– when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.




[Source: Wikimedia Commons]


(Acknowledgements: previously published in my third book-length poetry collection, Orpheus in the Undershirt, Ginninderra Press, 2018.)




Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

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Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, will be published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Wayne Ball says

    In he 50’s he was big.
    In the 60’s he was huge.
    In the 70’s he was morbidly obese.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your comments, Wayne. Witty stuff!

    In a review of one of my poetry books that included another Elvis poem I wrote (‘Elvis Presley’s Late Cheeseburger Period’) the reviewer called Elvis ‘the Southern boy who ate America.’ Elvis was certainly an iconic, fascinating and, in some respects, tragic figure.

  3. DBalassone says

    Great fun JD. The king died on his throne.

  4. Kevin Densley says

    An apt description indeed, DB!

  5. Of course KD The Elvis Exhibition is coming to the Bendigo Art Gallery in central Victoria mid-March next year.

    With Covid travel restrictions a thing of the past I reckon sellout crowds will pack the Gallery.

    I had coloured pics of Elvis on my bedroom walls in 1956-57 but my schoolmaster father thought they were subversive and tore them down.

    So I had to store the next lot carefully cut out from the magazines of the day under the bed.

    Elvis was terrified of airplane travel so we never saw him in Oz. But I saw Billy Haley and the Comets, the Platters, Freddy Bell and the Bell Boys and Jerry Lee Lewis live at the old West Melbourne stadium.

    Two separate concerts. Caught the train up and back from Geelong with schoolmates after obtaining (reluctant) permission from aforesaid schoolmaster.

  6. Kevin Densley says

    Many thanks for your comments, Elijah.

    That Elvis exhibition is sure to be a highly interesting one.

    And didn’t a range of iconic American rockers tour Australia in the !950s? Even Buddy Holly and the Crickets briefly toured here on a bill with such stars as Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, and Johnny O’Keefe and the Dee Jays in January/February 1958.

  7. Hop in the car. Maybe catch a train from Spencer Street (or whatever it’s called now.)

    Direct from Graceland here’s some of the Elvis items which will be on display at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

    His first Harley Davidson, the red MG car (which he owned) and used in movie Blue Hawaii, heaps of his concert clothes of course. And even, would you believe, his first crayon box (complete with crayons) which he used as a little tacker at school.

    Book in for March, KD.

  8. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the added info, Elijah.

    I do go to Ballarat here and there, so I may well see this exhibition.

  9. Kevin Densley says

    Oops the Elvis exhibition will be in BENDIGO – for all those interested. I misread the location! Thanks again, Elijah.

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