Poster Image

Clinton Square Back Beat


Item#: 2016SYR14

Purchase Details

11x17-inches, printed on heavy weight (100-pound) Hammermill cover paper. We package each print with a piece of chipboard in a clear plastic sleeve.

You also receive…

An information page with photos of the artist and poet, and hand-written comments from each.

Medium- and large-format posters are available by custom order. Contact us for details.

Poem Inspiration Location

Clinton Square Back Beat

poster information


Clinton Square back beat
to a twelve—bar—blues rhythm
Jazz in the City

In the beginning, the Poster Project emphasized downtown Syracuse, and I wanted to continue that tradition. I was hoping to combine my love of the form of haiku poetry with my love of music in a poem that honored Syracuse. I have been to the Jazz in the City concerts, so I tried to reflect the rhythmic elements of jazz in the rhythmic elements of my poem.

I have been reading and writing haiku poetry for many years. Coming from a long Japanese tradition, haiku usually contains references to nature or one of the seasons. Two lines show one image and the third line shows another. The skillful pairing of these images is the true power of haiku.

I liked the musicality of this poem, and I wanted to play with that. I like to listen to music. I tried to play instruments in high school, but I never got very far. I appreciate music, but I'm not necessarily a maker of music. Art was more my forte.

I started by looking at pictures on the internet for photo reference, and saw, like, a good picture, like the angle was cool. It was like those old cartoons with warped perspective. And I always wanted to try that.

I figured the night sky would be a way to make it jazzy, and I've always liked the symbols of the sky—the sun and the moon. They remind me of my childhood a little bit. Growing up, my sister always had a lot of moon and sun things. And because she was my cool older sister, I was like, “OK, I want to be like her.”