The Heavy Metal Music of Traffic

Despite having walked by this poem engraved in polished stone hundreds upon hundreds of times, I never read it until recently, and therefore had never noticed its reference to the musical quality of traffic noise.

It appears facing Mission Street in San Francisco, between 3rd Street and 4th Street, right near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The text is described as a “Group Poem in Honor of Yerba Buena Gardens.” That public park sits directly behind the stone wall. The poem is credited to “TODCO Creative Writing Class, 1992.” TODCO is the Tenants and Owners Development Corporation.

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