Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Tag, Therefore I Write

Recently I was talking to someone about when he started writing.

"I was about to say a couple of years ago, but then I realized I'd actually been writing for a long time. I always called myself a writer. It was just that it was..."

I knew what was coming. He meant tagging. Graffiti.

I've learned a lot about this kind of writing in the last few years. I have many examples in my own basement. The other day I was taken to see the writing below, in an alley, in a city where tagging is a serious activity that involves turf, art, and politics. The artist showed it to me bashfully. "It's not very good. I'm working on it."
Tag by an anonymous artist
I recently watched a good graffiti movie called Infamy, recommended to me as it shows the parents as well as the kids. This is the link to the trailer.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTcMqhBgTrQ.

Is this writing? I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt--except on my furniture.


  1. I have been working as a social worker for pregnant and parenting girls in the foster system for many years now.

    At the beginning of this new venture, I used to take the Broadway local subway from Manhattan into the Bronx and checked out the the views where the subway would emerge from underground.

    I remember when I was first struck by the idea that my "girls" used to use their pregnancy and upcoming motherhood as a way to scream, "I AM!" and wondered if graffiti fulfilled the same screaming needs of their respctive baby's sperm donor...Sorry, I am loathe to call them fathers until they, well, father.

    Anyway, is it writing, or is it a way to be acknowledged..Je ne croissant.