This paper argues that Catullus 53 deserves a place among the other programmatic statements in the poet's work. By reconsidering a reference to this poem in Seneca's Controversiae and the way in which the word salaputium is applied to Catullus's close friend, C. Licinius Calvus, the article aims to show that the poem can be read as a re-fashioning of an old literary topos into a terse and truly witty neoteric statement. That statement has interesting ramifcations both for the connections between neoteric poetics and Atticist rhetoric and for the interpretation of other poems in the Catullan oeuvre.