This hideous,
upholstered in gift-wrap fabric, chromed
in places, design possibility

for the future canned ham.
Its genius
wonderful, circa I993.

I’ve assumed a great many things:
the perversity of choices, affairs
I did or did not have.

But let the record show
that I was happy.

O let the hideous chair

stand! For the Chinese apothecary
with his roots and fluids;
for Paoul at the bank;

for the young woman in Bailey’s Drug,
expert on henna; and Warren Beatty,
tough, sleek stray. For Fluff and Flo,

drunk at noon, and the Am Vets lady
reading her Vogue, the cholos
on the corner where the 57 bus comes by,

for their gratifying, cool appraisal
and courtly manner when I pass.
Let the seat be comfortable

but let the chair be hideous
and stand against the correct,
hygienic, completely proper

subdued in taxidermied elegance.
Let me have in any future
some hideous thing to love,

here Boston, MA, 8 Farrington Ave.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Erin Belieu's poem The Hideous Chair

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