“Unoriginal Poetry Based on Junk”

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D.A. Powell wrote – a few years ago now – a column for The Poetry Foundation in which he dabbles with the idea of street poetry (think along the lines of the tape poetry of Elvis Christ).

Powell’s article was called “Conceptual Poetics: A Practicum.” In it he writes:

I love this idea of valueless, unoriginal poetry based on junk. I’ve been trying to write poems, and now it turns out that I could have just been assembling them. I mean, I’ve done some avant-gardist things in my time (let us call them, for lack of a better term, “poems”), but I think I spent way too much time worrying about making “sense” (who even knows what that means anymore?) So today, since I’m, like so many effete bourgeois Americans, absolutely burdened with leisure time, I went out to see how this concept of Conceptual Poetics might liberate me from the senseless drudgery of writing.

At the end of the article he posted a poem he made from pictures of verbalized street art he’d taken pictures of during a walk in San Francisco. You can view it here.

And again, congratulations D.A.!


Hans Kulla-Mader studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College and is currently living in San Francisco. More from this author →