On Being Cute

I have a cute streak. I worry about this, because cuteness is frowned upon in literary and artistic circles. I try to hide my cuteness behind long words and even longer silences, but in the end I fear the world may find out.

I love polka dots and the movie "Babe" and the little tinkling chickadee bell above my writing chair. I love the Anthropologie catalog and snow globes and pink lipstick and jokes that aren't really funny but can only be described as cute. ("Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Dwayne." "Dwayne who?" "Dwayne da tub, I'm dwowning!")

I draw cutely. I would love to paint masterpieces, but mostly smiley girl-faces and flowers come from my pen. Strange, because so much of what I write isn't cute at all, but disturbing.

I feel I owe the world an apology for being a poet with latent cuteness. For loving 1980's Sandra Boynton hippos (remember those?), hats, dangly earrings, vintage valentines, Raffi songs, dollhouse miniatures, socks with teddy bears on them, the dragonflies you see on candle holders and yard art. I even like cute food. Fruit tarts with shiny berries I consider downright adorable.

I came across this quote by William Stafford, in Crossing Unmarked Snow, one of my favorite books on writing:

"I'm suspicious of the ability of any fallible human being to erect some kind of standard and say, this is it."

Thanks for that, Bill. There is no "serious" art or literary standard I have to uphold, no dictum on what is an acceptable level of cuteness. If I'm cute, so be it. Polka dots never hurt anyone.

1 comment:

  1. I love your "cuteness".
    Your smiling face makes my soul feel all fudge syrupy. The world needs people that make a soul all warm and gooey.


Thanks for your comment! I love feedback.