Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Welcome To Outsider Poetry Magazine

There are many different definitions of Outsider Poetry. Some believe it refers exclusively to those who have a mental illness in the classic definition art brut by Jean Debuffet to describe the work of those creating art outside the boundaries of official culture, or later refined by Roger Cardinal to Outsider Art in 1972. Within those parameters it is possible for almost anyone except the academic orthodoxy to consider themselves an Outsider Poet, although in an ironic twist the most well known people claiming Outsider status lately are those doing huge University tours, receiving public grants, and using the entire arsenal of the orthodoxy to yell how Outsider they are.

Outside what would be my first question.

Poetry always exists for those who need it. The mentally ill and the disenfranchised will always get the hind tit just because they have no rel voice, and poetry is no exception. I like to think of Outsider Poetry less as a definition of how people feel in terms of their relationship to culture or society, and more how their internal state, including mental disability, may make interaction with that culture difficult, even impossible. There is really no shortage of outlets for the cacophony of teenagers, punkers, misanthropes, castoffs, and uncategorizable human self-exiles who want to define themselves as something other than human in order to make what is inherently uninteresting seem more interesting.

The fact of this matter may be that there is only one Outsider Poet in this entire Universe... me. The rest of you are free to be whatever permutation and mutation or batch of humanity you so choose, or associate yourself in that way. I don't know anyone else like me, so I can't really say I'm in this boat with anyone else. 


If Charles Krauthammer were a poet, he would be an Outsider Poet, mostly because no one else would want him.
Here's an Outsider Poem from a random Outsider Poet:

Faking Bad 

In anticipation of my 
Evaluation to be declared 
Non Compos Mentos 
I slept under a bridge 
For three days 
"Getting into character," 

But on the morning of 
My intake interview 
My hair fell perfectly, 
I mean I looked like 
A fucking rock star. 
College girls on the bus 
Were giving me their 
Numbers and my skin, 
Which I'd purposely sunburnt 
And caked in the finest filth, 
Glowed like an Australian 
Chippendale dancer named Weegie 
And even the female Assisstant D.A. 
Who had busted me for vagrancy 
Waved her panties from 
The third story building 
Of the Courthouse. 

No matter how much I 
Tried to speak gibberish 
Poetry and philosophical 
Tracts spewed from my mouth. 

Shuffling past the park 
I beat eight 
Grand Masters 
At chess on move 1 

Inadvertently I solved 
The Phi Epsilom Theorem 
By kicking stones 
Into an algorythym. 

When I arrived they didn't 
Make me wait at all. 

My caseworker giggled like 
A schoolgirl while I told her 
Each day was like an endless shift 
In a Chinese fish- gutting 
Sweatshop and every one of my fellow 
Employees was motivationalist 
Richard Simmons. 
She ungirdled her enormous 
Tits and as they spilled 
Like fishguts onto the desk 
She began to howl 
"Fuck me, fuck me, oh fuck 
Me right here in 
Front of the open window 
On State Street as everyone 
Watches me fucking the strongest, 
Healthiest, smartest, most popular, 
Well-adjusted man in the world. 

The rest of the examination was 
Also a success. 
But as I left the Mental HealthCenter 
feeling marvelous 
I accidentally bumped 
An old woman with the door: 
"Watch out you manic-depressive 
Schizoid with Socially Avoidant 
Features klutz." 
-Thomas L. Vaultonburg

Outsider artist Bradley Lastname sent me this waving hand and I decided it went with my Amok Time Bub the Zombie

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