The Complete Book of Kong


$24 cloth / $14 paper

Southeast Missouri State University Press

ISBN: 978-0-9724304-4-9 (cloth)

ISBN: 978-0-9724304-5-6 (paper)


The Complete Book of Kong gathers the poetic wit, woe, and wisdom of both new and favorite Kong poems—from William Trowbridge’s previous books, and from numerous literary magazines and anthologies—into a collection that will rattle your cage. Kong is hip and horrendous, always terribly in love with a small screaming blonde, and still bearing the biggest, brightest heart Hollywood has ever broken. Kong treads fortissimo where mortals fear to go and holds forth in these poems with the fresh, no-nonsense voice that makes Trowbridge one of poetry’s most cutting-edge bards.

Come forth ye canon weary! Behold your inner Kong!

Everyone knows that Kong is one of the great American shows, but now he has grown even larger than the wide screen. The Kong poems placed together in one book affirm him as an authentic American icon. There is nothing like him anywhere else in the serious, sour world of poetry in English. Kong reinvents himself over and over in this work. The mood is essentially comic — there are pratfalls and belly laughs abundant. He straightens out a lot of people in this full collection — Hollywood agents, running guards, left-handed pitchers, Popes, poets, porn kings, beauty queens, executives, movie stars, and a whole cast of others. Yes, Kong can fracture you. But, in the end, you realize that Kong, like all great comics, is one of the saddest and most serious things in the world.

Paul Zimmer

The Complete Book Of Kong by William Trowbridge is a unique and highly recommended collection of poetry celebrating that famous giant ape of the silver screen, King Kong. Trowbridge presents a varied and lyrical depiction of this fearsome beast and the forces he symbolizes, in a reader engaging and refreshingly adventurous series of imaginative verse.

Midwest Book Review

Kong Turns Critic

The man said, He is a brilliant
special effect, given the film
technology of the Thirties, but
the story is hopelessly contrived,
even allowing for the strong mythic
element.” The woman said, “No,
he looks too much like a stuffed toy,
a huge piece of period kitsch,
ludicrous when he tries for tragedy.”
The man shook his hair and made smoke,
insisting, “Verisimilitude is irrelevant,
as in any Gothic melodrama.” I marveled
at these mammoth words, wondering
how they were folded into such
little brains. I ate the man,
first, then the woman, both stringy,
but then what’s not these days.

from The Complete Book of Kong

Kong Discusses King Kong IV Over a Power Lunch

He said he’d need 15 percent,
and I said OK.

He said that included the revenues on the after-marketing,
and I said OK.

And he said we’d have to do more with the anti-colonialism thing,
and I said I could see that.

And we’d have to punch up the kinky sex thing,
and I said, OK, I guess.

And the gory special effects,
and I said, If we have to.

And the clothes-sniffing scene,
and I said, Isn’t that part of the kinky sex thing,

And he said maybe he should explain “kinky” to me,
and I said maybe he should,

And he did,
and I said, Shouldn’t stuff like that go under “gory special effects,”

And he said, What kind of writer are you,
and I said, a poet,

And he said he’d have his girl get in touch with my girl,
and I said he could have his girl keep her paws to herself
and flicked his kinky little ass over the lobster bisque.