Almanac Poetry: The Artist Formerly Known


The Artist Formerly Known


Popstar Anthony Bonicello,
at the start, was matchstick-thin
and known as Elastic Anthony
because of his supple gymnastic act.
He had a number one hit
with the novelty song ‘Bend Me Baby’.
Making use of parallel bars, vaulting horse
and Roman rings, he’d sing
Bend me baby, I’m your plasticine
But his follow-up single, ‘Pliable Me’,
sunk like a bathysphere.
What to do next, after Teen Angel records
shanghaied him into the street?
He slicked down his hair,
grew a pornstar moustache,
crooning bad cabaret
in front of an ensemble
of overweight, alcoholic,
paid-by-the-hour musicians.
That didn’t last long. Poor Anthony
ended up weighing three hundred pounds,
dying, arteries hard as cement,
in the arms of a male whore.
Not that there’s anything wrong about that:
they were in love.
But it was sad.



(Acknowledgement: previously published in my second poetry book, Lionheart Summer, Picaro Press, 2011; reprinted by Ginninderra Press, 2018.)




Read more from Kevin Densley HERE

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

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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, has just been published (late 2020) 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. Recent other writing includes screenplays for films with a tertiary education purpose. He laments the extinction of Cascade Pale Ale and Kiwi Lager.


  1. You capture his sad descent. But at least he went out with a bang & in the arms of a lover. Probably not a bad way to go, when you think about it.

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Many thanks for the comments, DB.

    And yes, expressions such as, er, ‘with a bang’ and ‘on the job’ spring to mind!

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