*Outsider Art*

This is a poem by Kay Ryan:

Most of it’s too dreary

or too cherry red.

If it’s a chair, it’s

covered with things

the savior said

or should have said —

dense admonishments

in nail polish

too small to be read.

If it’s a picture,

the frame is either

burnt matches glued together

or a regular frame painted over

to extend the picture. There never

seems to be a surface equal

to the needs of these people.

Their purpose wraps

around the backs of things

and under arms;

they gouge and hatch

and glue on charms

till likable materials —

apple crates and canning funnels —

lose their rural ease. We are not

pleased the way we thought

we would be pleased.

That poem is cited in the new and enjoyable book by David Orr, Beautiful & Pointless {A  Guide to Modern Poetry}.


Comments for this post are closed