poetry in public

by Mark

According to Mta.info the Poetry in Motion campaign was started in 1992, when it displayed Uncle Walt’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” Living in NYC for my 25yrs of life I had never noticed them. Till last year when I saw one on the F train and took its picture it was “To the Reader Twilight,” by Chase Twichell. I ended up coming across and captured a photo of all the poems introduced during 2013-till now 2014. I wanted to make a cool social media post with all my photos promoting poetry, but my phone broke and with it all my past photos (my technological IQ is pretty low, and I never backed them up). After the grief of losing 3 years’ worth of photos, I still wanted to do something with those MTA poems, so I wrote a poem.

Glass closed words perched on metal trees
Make mysteries stop clocks for split seconds
Successive spits and stares, but no one
Understands. Scratches on your left
Millimeters below the screw.
Snap the picture onlookers weary
I need to remember you, as you
Brush my day.

My meager poem aside I was drawn to these posters and wanted to communicate with them. As a student of sociology I am interested in; public spaces, their shape, how they are created, and what they say. A New York City subway car, though paid to use is still a public space.  Copious amount of people are cramped and willingly/unwillingly associate, within a narrow way while exposed to elements of city culture. The city culture is brash new Yorkers, tourists, muted subway cars, and endless advertisements. Then you have these pieces of art posted to halt the mundane. Wheatear they embrace the mind of the rider does not matter, they are there. They hold a place and force people to interact with them. All forms of art posted in an area affect the framework of the space. As a lover of poetry I enjoy getting my train ride hit with spice of poems.




by: Him