Vinnie's Luncheonette, Kendall Square MBTA Station
Deuce of Clubs Bar, Main Street
Women's Health Collective, Hampshire St
Osborne Street Garage, Massachusetts Avenue
Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Store, Norfolk St
This poem, by Mark Mendel, titled "Ojos Numerosos (for George Oppen)" was painted on various walls in Cambridge, MA in the summer of 1975. It was wonderful to come upon these poem fragments as you drove through the city. There were 23 verses: these are the ones I photographed.
Seventeen stanzas from the poem were printed in the Boston Real Paper in December 18, 1980, in an article titled "Blueprints for the Poetry of the Future." I found an article by Mendel with photos in Visible Langauge, the Journal of Typographical Research, volume IX, number 3, Summer 1975:
Line Transmitter Installation - A Poem in the Environment
Author(s): Mendel, Mark
Abstract: Ojos Numerosos is a poem of twenty-three three-line stanzas. It was written to be painted on the sides of buildings, on viaducts, and on other urban surfaces where graffiti is typically found. The verses are in random series and are interchangeable within the poem. They form a chain in the experience of the person moving about town. People confront this poem as they do graffiti or corporate-graffiti/advertising every day. Poetry predates writing and printing. The recent tradition of poetics as a possession of the educated elite grew from its confinement to the printed page; I want this poem to fit the viaduct as the sonnet was once felt to fit the page. This is the sprayed word--the continuous simultaneous transmission of a poem into the environment.
Here are the 17 verses from the Real Paper:
Updated 12/02/97, 04/19/05, 12/26/08, 05/06/22