An Unordered List of the Not-Beautiful

Read by the author.


by Katie Pyontek

Featured Art by Courtney Bennett


Beauty depends on magnitude and order.
Hence a very small life cannot be beautiful,
for the view of it is confused.

 — Aristotle

Not the green bellies of hummingbirds, not

one set of wired bones shown behind glass.

Not the plump folds of tardigrades, not quarks,

not marbles on carpet, not pinhole stars.

Not the improbable orderliness

of ants, not feverfew or curls of hair,

not quick love notes left out on the counter.

Not a dozen kumquats, not an average

of six minutes. Not the intricate coils

of a snail’s shell, inching down the sidewalk.




Katie Pyontek writes poetry and fiction. She is an alumna of the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop and the Tin House Winter Workshop, and has been a resident at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. She is an incoming MFA candidate at Ohio State University.

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