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A silent riot of conversation

disrupts senses and sensibilities,

soundlessly projecting against the lane.

Monikers practiced in solitude

with inky fingers on notebook pages,

until ready to join the fray.

Each inscription perfected

shaped into an unspoken statement,

a question and an answer.

A burst of colour

stains walls of brick and plaster,

in a silent riot of conversation.

This poem was written in response to some graffiti tagging I came across in Elwood – a coastal suburb of Melbourne – a few weeks ago. I was there to get a haircut and the sky was sunny as I walked down a cobbled laneway that led from the café strip to the beach. I paused as a rainbow of graffiti jumped out at me from a plastered brick wall, continuing further down along three more walls. I knew it was perfect for my final blog post. Most of the above was written in my head during my hour drive home. It was influenced not only by the physical graffiti but also from my experiences of the tagging and graffiti culture through my brother and his ‘crew’ years ago. The poem gives a personal insight into what this type of graffiti might mean to those who create it.

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