A.D. Malley: A New Ballade of the Words of Yesteryear

By | 1 December 2010

Opposite Sydney School of Arts
the wowser slakes his shameful lust
with the debauchees of gin and lime
enchanted by their sirens’ wail.
At length he slopes toward his bed
with dreams of Lilith in his head.

Where are the words of yesteryear?

Whole wardrobes spill old attitudes
and drape them round the gallery wall
where Dobell’s Hell offends their sight.
Engrave an arcane linotype
or kiss a Brueghel where you may,
John Keats is laughing in his grave.

Where are the words of yesteryear?

The meeting in the Adyar Hall
eschews the abject daily pot
the worker poet takes for Muse
in honest naked light of day.
Since flesh is grass and must be wet
let Francis Palgrave’s virgins fret.

Where are the words of yesteryear?

Sober, in cafes he waits,
who paid the price of freedom’s call
and paid the price rounds for sots
who boast their mercantile prowess
and minds unfertilized while he
pursues his solitary art

and finds the words of yesteryear.

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