The funk of seven-hundred years–
A saint-skin painting yowling here


Inspired by: Christina Möser’s St. Peter, 2014, a collection of symbols depicting 45 scratches and marks taken off the walls and floors of the Cologne Cathedral.

Symbol: #27 of 45

Poetic Form:My form had to be German, of course, so I decided on the shuttelreim, a single rhyming couplet in which the first consonants of the last two words in the first line are reversed in the second line. At first I thought that was going to make my head spin, but the form utilizes a similar device as the spoonerism, in which the initial sounds or letters of two or more words are transposed.

Process:The idea that little scratches and scuffs left behind by visitors tell a story all their own—a building’s book!—is wonderful to me! It’s like an accidental graffiti that evolves over time as the materials used to make the structure wear down. I did a little research on the Cologne Cathedral and learned that construction began in 1248, so that’s where the “700 years” came from. I was also listening to “Thriller” at the time, so I borrowed one of Vincent Price’s famous lines at the end of the song—the funk of 40 thousand years. And from there, it just turned zombie!

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