The prompt Meeting the Bar: Graffiti Poetry
asked us to write a poem influenced by the aesthetic or purposes of graffiti.
Tangible evidence, visible scars
we need them for validation.
Word written on stone, inked etched into skin
traces that we have been here, existed.
You see it more in big cities
where the nameless and the faceless run rampant.
Where people move daily through the motion of life
and pass the wandering and lost without recognition.
In small towns, it’s more of an anomaly
and by definition does not fit in.
It is the thing that does not belong
in this warm quiet place.
I lived in a small town where space was provided
a stone wall and chalk for you to leave your trace.
“We want you to matter here” was the message
“but don’t mess up the aesthetic of our precious little façade”.
I like it better when it’s taken, stolen
proof of life that had to be taken at some risk.
The image of some rogue artist or aching soul
seeking out a blank canvas where it was never intended to be.
There it becomes primal, raw,
something fought for yet owned by no one.
Once scrawled on a wall it is simply left
something once held within that had to be set free.
In being consumed by the passing eye
life is sustained as it seeps into another’s consciousness.