The Streets

free*form ethno*poetic reflex*ations composed en-situ on a walk during fieldwork in Ankara, Turkey (22 May 2017).

Yüksel Cd.Metro Entrance, Kızılay, Ankara- April 2017


I’m interested in what’s written in the streets and the stories they tell

I’m interested in what’s written on the streets

Who writes in the streets

What they write in the streets


I’m interested in the ways streets write stories

I’m interested in the ways that the stories and the spaces connect with each other generationally

And how the meanings of spaces are created, communicated, and constructed

Yüksel Cd. Kızılay, Ankara- Early May 2017

I’m interested in spray paint and concrete

Tombstones and monuments

I want to know what gets painted over,

when and why

The story that tells

The image that reveals


I see the writing on the wall

Insert streetlamp here

Roses and white mulberries, pines

Carpets hanging on balconies alongside

Pansies and petunias

Small vineyards grapes

Draped against moldy frames

In cookie cutter block backyards


I’m interested in what’s posted in the streets

The layers flake and peel with time and rain

And rowdy drunk college kids

And the posters and the stickers are in layers

And layers

And layers

Telling the stories the newspapers seem to forget

So quickly

Graffiti a few blocks from the campus of Middle East Technical University

I’m interested in what we read when we walk through a city

What’s dead

What’s alive

(Red background- “we will not forget, we will not allow it to be forgotten” adjacent- advertising May 13 memorial rally of Crimean genocide)

The coming and going

And panting and the repainting

The pasting and the pasting over

The blooming the withering

The falling

The budding


I want to know the stories the winds carry through the mahalle

We don’t all talk to each other

But the wind touches us all

“Adam izindeyiz”

Like a school kid on a corner I stand

Straining at the base of the fruit tree

Collecting what little I can before I’m discovered

My mouth and pockets are full of sweetness


I just hope there are no