I just received an email
Address from Wanker Press,
They said they read my manuscript
And it was too shithouse to access.

They won’t publish a Poet of the People
‘Forget the fucking Prols!’
At Wanker Press they told me
‘We have much loftier of goals.’

‘We aim to please the critics
Newspapers, and other cretins,
As for rhyming poets, well....
We just won’t let them in.

‘We have standards to keep down
We must not let them rise,
We’re aiming low to please the critics
We’re not aiming for the skies.

‘Imagine Pablo Picasso as a bloody awful poet
Instead of a bloody awful painter,
That’s the shit that the critics like
The crowd for whom we cater.

‘Don’t send us your rhyming muck
Which has a clear, precise message,
We like obscurist, verbose crap
That keeps the punters guessing.

‘Don’t try to improve the world through rhyme
We like it lousy, as it is,
Don’t fill our emails with your sweet wine
We’re used to drinking donkey piss.

‘It’s not for naught they call us
“That bloody Wanker Press!”
We won’t publish any cream
We want fifth ... not second best!’

© Copyright 2021 Philip Roberts
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

About this poem

In 2009, I sent a poetry collect for consideration to a name publisher, who sent me an almost obscene rejection slip, saying my work was so awful they would destroy unread anything else I sent them. As co-incidence (I'm sure!) would have it, the next day I received an unsolicited invitation from a vanity press to publish a collection of my work at my expense. Co-incidence? My collection had 39 poems and the vanity publisher said, "We accept any manuscript from 39 pages upwards. " The catch is my manuscript was actually 51 pages, since some poems were 2 pages, but their minimum length matched the number of poems. I must conclude the once honourable name publisher had degenerated into touting for the vanity publisher (or indeed owned the vanity press). Clearly, they thought the more discouraging their poison-pen-rejection slip was, the more likely I was to waste my money on vanity publishing. 

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Written on January 31, 2009

Submitted by PHIL_ROBERTS on August 20, 2021

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:01 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,146
Words 206
Stanzas 9
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3

Phil Roberts

I turn 65 on the 31st of January 2022. I love cats, rock music, and horror fiction and poetry more…

All Phil Roberts poems | Phil Roberts Books

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    "WANKER PRESS" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Sep. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/107528/wanker-press>.

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