Where has all the good graffiti gone?

It was hand written on one of the Moving Poetry posters on the train. Wedged in between a poem about football parents and another reflecting how their home town had changed since they left it.

Ticket inspectors
you yearn for my ticket.
I yearn for your heart.

Anon

So perfectly placed in between two other poems of the same form (rooku, an Australian variant of haiku). So appropriate in the context. It was on a train; ticket inspectors patrol the trains; they are often accused of being heartless.

Nowadays most graffiti is modern art or tags, whose only function is to mark territory, much like a dog marks territory by lifting his leg at every lamp post.

Not much written graffiti survives, and what does is usually of the dial a sex service form.

The witty, entertaining social commentary is gone, except for the occasional hold-out like the one I saw on the train this morning.

It’s a sign of the times. We communicate in pictures now, rather than words. Furthermore, rather than providing social commentary, today’s graffiti seems to be created mostly to draw attention to the creator.


If you want to read the rooku Moving Poetry, you can find it here.

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