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So for a long time I’ve had this idea for a guerilla art thing that I dubbed “poem in your pocket”. The idea being that I would write little poems or pithy sentences or phrases on little cards that I carried around in my pocket and left various places for random people to find. For about two weeks in 2005 or so, back when I was living in Silver Spring, Maryland and commuting into DC by train, I did this on Metrorail trains, discreetly cramming the corner of the little cards into a seam on the armrest or someplace else my fellow passengers weren’t likely to notice while I was there. Problem was, I’m not a poet, and soon ran out of cards and inspiration to make up more. Plus I suspect that the Metrorail custodial crew who found them probably just regarded them as litter left by a weirdo.

So anyway, I’ve started dabbling in watercolor, which means I’ve been wasting a lot of paper figuring out how the paints work and react to different ways of handling. After a half-assed attempt to declutter this weekend, I maI did that this weekend, it occured to me I could use the otherwise wasted watercolor messes to cut up and make into fun little cards. So that’s what I did. Scans of a few of them are posted below.

So I’m planning to leave them in such places as on the table before I leave a restaurant, in ladies room stalls, on the bus, on the shelves of the food coop, tucked into tip jars at coffee shops, etc. Since they are watercolor, I can’t leave them anywhere that, if they get wet, they might damage something (e.g. tucked into a book).

The experiment part is to see if I have the nerve to actually do it (it will need to happen when no one is looking) and whether I can keep it up.

guerilla art experiment 1

guerilla art experiment series 1

guerilla art experiment 2

guerilla art experiment series 2

guerilla art experiment - barista series

guerilla art experiment – barista series

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12 Comments

  1. What a fabulous idea (both incarnations)! I would be delighted if I found one of those.

  2. I’ll be sure to set up a tip jar next to my Melitta. It’s either that or start hanging around in women’s restrooms!

  3. I love theses! Count me as another that would be thrilled to find one.

    • I’m so glad! Perhaps someday I will embark on an epistolary art experiment. As things stand I have only managed to leave one so far, on the table of a favorite coffee shop, which wasn’t as anonymous as I planned.

  4. I know the phrase I was trying to think of before: they’re “random acts of beauty”.

  5. It’s a really cool idea. My daughter has a friend who writes little notes and leaves them in library books for the next person to find. She’s been doing it since she was a kid.

    • Oh, I like what you daughter’s friend does! Are they written as if a letter, Dear So and So?

      • She would put – to the next person reading this book – bla bla bla. just something like she hoped they were having a nice day or what the weather was like when she was reading the book, what was going on around her, anything really – she doesn’t say who she is though.

        • That’s nice. I would like to find one of those! I wonder if librarians look for those kinds of things when checking books back in (and hopefully keeping the messages in there).


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