Friday, January 29, 2010


I've gotten doll-centric in my collages lately. Though I was not one of those little girls that surrounded herself with dolls, now I find myself drawn to them as symbols, totems and/or cultural artifacts. The older the doll, the more potency it has for me. Perhaps because dolls seem to bear witness to the times they came from. They have a certain mystery about them. What child loved them and who made them and where have they been? In that vein, as a lazy rainy day blogger who would rather get back to her artwork, I offer this poem originally published in Belle Griffith's i.e. magazine (Fall/Winter, 1993).


A porcelain baby shivers
in the tin bathtub,
arms to chest.
In the Edwardian parlor,
stiff dusty dolls
gather round
a tiny Venus de Milo
on display.

None of the dolls
stand straight anymore.
They fall back
against the furniture
or sit sliding,
half tilted
on faded brocade furniture.
As I peer in at them,
I see my face giant-like
in their fireplace mirror.

Down the hall
the doll children
are having a party
with ice cream sodas and cake,
spilling themselves
off white wire chairs.

There are dolls holding
dolls holding dolls,
gray-garbed servants
and a cat or dog
in every room.

Pausing from
her busy life,
one doll prays
at the altar
of the upstairs chapel.
She kneels askew,
about to fall forward
into the open arms
of the blue papier-mache virgin.
The years have tilted her
like a crooked cemetery slab;
its epitaph
plain with hope, reads:
the one who placed me here
is just around the corner
a little out of sight.

- Keddy Ann Outlaw

collage: "Restoreth" by KAO, 2010


Gail Storey said...

Keddy, I'm absolutely fascinated by your collages, especially your dollscapes. Amber (my Blogmistress doll) says hello rightbackatcha! I've read a number of your posts and appreciate them, including the book reviews. So wonderful to reconnect this way--I'm subscribing to your blog.

LoneStarLibrarian said...

Thanks for the appreciation, Gail! So good to be in cyber touch w you!