Aug 20, 2012
Lately I’ve been taking pictures of ads in New York subway stations and using bits and pieces of these ads to compose short visual poems. I’ve set up a tumblr blog to collect some of these poems, called Subway Cento. A couple of my favorites so far are the one shown above, along with distillation and Popmoney.
A cento is a poem made from other poems, and I’ve found that the language of underground ad copy is ripe with poetic material—a grab bag of big declarative statements, amusing attempts at empathy, and the latent hopes and desires and fears that drive the vernacular of modern-day consumerism. Mix it up in the right ways and there are surprising stories to be told, of love and loss and aching truth and staggering beauty.