Almanac Poetry: Spleen


Spleen et Idéal, by Carlos Schwabe, oil on canvas, Fin-de-Siècle Museum, Brussels, Belgium. 1907. [Source: Wikimedia Commons]




I want to vent it; got to
get that fist-like
bumpy bluish-red
rubbery organ
and show it to you!
Want you to look long and hard,
as it sits, warm and pulsing, in my hands!
If you’re appalled, I don’t really care;
in spite of the revulsion
of our sensibilities
and the gut-turning nausea,
the experience will do us
the world of good.
Have a look at my spleen!
I’m busting my guts
to show it to you!




(Acknowledgements: first appeared in Volition, 2003; then in my first poetry book, Vigorous Vernacular, Picaro Press, 2008, reprinted by Ginninderra Press, 2018.)



Read more from Kevin Densley HERE



Kevin Densley’s latest poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, is available HERE



Read more Almanac Poetry HERE



If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]



To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.



Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.



Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.





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, was 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. Rick Kane says

    That was speendid!

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Rick!

    Posting the poem also gave me the opportunity to post a wonderfully evocative illustration from an edition of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, too.

  3. DBalassone says

    Magnificently gutsy KD. You’ve got me thinking of Baudelaire twice with this post: 1) Paris Spleen and 2) the stunning pic from Les Fleurs du Mal, which includes one of my all time favourites ‘The Albatross’.

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, DB!

    Baudelaire remains one of those powerful poetic forces, doesn’t he?

  5. Nice words, KD.

  6. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Smokie.

    W. H. Auden once described/defined poetry as ‘memorable language’ – hopefully, this one falls into that category.

Leave a Comment