Words, Words, Words.

Before he became a successful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat wrote graffiti. With his friend Al Diaz and a few others he wrote brief, cryptic, sometimes barbed statements like “Playing Art With Daddy’s Money”, always signed with the tag SAMO—short for “Same Old Shit”. People who walked by and saw these messages must have wondered about them and who was behind them.

This particular work, written on the glass window of a car showroom that’s been sitting empty for decades, makes me think too.

haloUnlike one of SAMO’s lines there’s nothing pointed about it. And it may be purely coincidental that HALO is so close to SAMO , and given that “She wears the mornings well” is more personal than pointed this probably isn’t a tribute to Basquiat but rather something completely original.

In fact it seems more like a one-line poem and makes me think all kinds of things. Who is she? When she “wears the mornings” is she hiding something, and doing it so well no one knows? No one, that is, except for the artist. Some graffiti emphasizes the visual, but here it’s all about the words and what they conjure up.

Seen any graffiti? Email your pictures to freethinkers@nerosoft.com. Let me know if you’d like your submissions credited to you or if you want to remain anonymous. 

6 Comments

  1. Chuck Baudelaire

    It’s such a beautiful line that I immediately thought it must be something well-known. But Googling it just takes you to other pictures of this very graffiti posted by other people who also thought it was beautiful. It may indeed be one of the greatest one-line poems ever.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s amazing–I didn’t think to Google the line. I’m so glad you suggested it because what came up are other peoples’ pictures of the same graffiti. One person even mentioned that it’s across the street from a liquor store, which I forgot to mention.
      Unfortunately they don’t put me any closer to solving the mystery of who Halo is. I promise him or her that I won’t rat them out to the cops.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    You wear the bloggings so well, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for making me think about how the bloggings are how I reveal, rather than hide, myself.

      Reply
  3. halfa1000miles

    I immediately thought of “she” as a place and not a person. It’s a lovely line. We have a very good mountain view from our cabin. I’m imagining the mountain range as “she”. And she does.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s a wonderful way to think of it and one I hadn’t thought of. You’ve reminded me that the Latin word for “sea” is feminine. I remember that because of the time I asked my Latin teacher why the word for “sailor” was feminine even though Roman sailors were all men. She said, “Because ‘sea’ is feminine.” That’s probably why boats are also called “she”.
      Weirdly all the Latin words for “mountain” are either masculine or neuter.

      Reply

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