Poem: Lay of the Waste-Paper Basket by Kuscobin

My appetite is ne'er appeased,
   I feed on poets' verses,
And nothing makes me better pleased
   Than hearing poets' curses;
Their loud reveilings are to me
The sweetest music that can be.

An ode to me is dear indeed,
   I sup on Lyrics nightly;
While Serenades are splendid feed,
   As, too, are Ballads sprightly:
But most of all I love to eat
An Epic with iambic feet.

Ah, how the great heroic lines
   Slip down my maw, apacious,
My stomach (beg your pardon!) pines
   With appetite rapacious,
For long-wrought Epics of great sound
That all the rhythmic laws confound.

The thing that I object to most
   Is lack of range in flavor,
For Grey-haired Mothers served on toast
   Each morning lose their savor,
While poems done in praise of Spring
Make me as sick as anything.

And Stockman's graves are not the stuff
   One wants to choose for daily fare,
A very little is enough
   Of Broken Hearts that want repair:
I only wish my poets would
Sing something better understood.

For instance, Lays of Lady Birds
   That sigh to stroke an Oyster's soul!
Or Platypi whose choice of words
   Offends a widowed lump of coal:
The aching hanker of a star
To drink pale brandy at the bar.

So many things remain unsung,
   I feel like singing them myself --
The gold pyjamas Pharaoh flung
   At Mrs Pharaoh, seeking pelf:
Or any other theme there be
That has the sauce of novelty.

But all in vain. And long before
   The FIG LEAF BANNER went to press:
With Father Adam, Editor,
   And Eve as Fashion Editress.
I've heard the same old thing
That poets still prefer to sing.

Yes, here they come -- one Nuptial Song,
   Three Lyrics to a Lady's Eyes;
Sonnets an even hundred strong,
   Six Ballads full of Lovers' Sighs;
And ten Young Ladies weeping tears
About the Wasted Dreams of Years.

I'm chock-a-block and full and sick
   Of all the wreckage of the Muses.
And yet, no matter how I kick,
   Fate other job to me refuses:
So all I ask, and loud I ask it
Don't overwork the poor old "basket".

First published in The Bulletin, 28 May 1914

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 9, 2005 10:08 AM.

Sydney Writers' Festival 2005 was the previous entry in this blog.

"The Book was Better" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en