From time to time, amid the pastrami-stained taxi chits and crinkled-up theatre programmes presented by our renowned book traveller Randolph St Cubbins, on which are scribbled what he submits to be his ‘record of expenses’, we occasionally find a stanza or two, noted down no doubt in idle moments between sales appointments. Is it really any surprise that a man as dedicated to literature as our man St Cubbins would not occasionally compose a word or two of poetry? Randolph was well known as a wit and versifier in his uni days, even editing the student literary journal at Kings College, The Offense of Poesie. What follows is a sonnet transcribed from a recent St Cubbins missive. I must submit that his spidery handwriting and the fax machine’s poor transmission might have obscured his true purpose in a line or two. We did our best. — AS
Sonnet on Wall Street
Randolph St Cubbins
Unthrifty Wall Street, why ever did you spend
Upon yourself our entire legacy?
The White House gives you nothing, but does lend,
And being fools their bailout leaves you free:
Oh, investment bankers, why do you abuse
The bounteous billions given you to give?
Profitless usurers, why do you lose
So great a sum of sums, yet bonus executives?
For having traffic with yourself alone,
You of yourself your sweet self does deceive:
Then how when Congress calls you to atone,
What acceptable audit can you leave?
Thy squandered profits must be tombed with thee,
Which, used, lives th’ executor to be.