Artist marks burned SF Mission sites with poetic tribute

Photo by Laura Waxmann. Sign by Haus of Qwert

The sites of catastrophic fires that displaced dozens of residents and several businesses at 22nd and 29th streets along Mission Streethave been adorned with poetic signage.

Alliteration-heavy poetry is printed on signs that look like an office notice from the city. By the first paragraph, however, it’s clear something subversive and non-bureaucratic is happening here:

“This marsh was built by captain Yoasy Pongoton to establish an unnatural water plain for the Mission’s native foul and mammal (pigeons and rats)” the sign at 29th Street reads.

Photo by Lola M. Chavez. Sign by Haus of Qwert

“After 235 years, the hibernating Mission Frogs finally emerged from the foundation of the fallen framework, producing a profound presence in the present pasture and pond,” reads the one at 22nd Street.

Both signs highlight that the empty lots, both of which became pits filled with murky water, suffered devastating fires that destroyed both living spaces and livelihoods.

Both poems sign off from Haus of Qwert, the artistic persona of  graphic, video and performance artist Cody Frost, who has worked extensively with the Mission District’s Secret Alley.

“Another sign celebrating more fictional Mission history while recognizing the loss of the homes, jobs, and lives of working class people in the Mission,” the artist wrote on Instagram. “Please consider the impact this pit (like so many others) has on everyone’s continued lives in the neighborhood. If I can’t prevent the destruction, at least I can make an attempt to bring some humor and joy to an otherwise dreary place.”

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  1. Daniel R

    It’s at 22nd Street

  2. Jorge Gonzalez

    That fire ruined everything. Now I have to walk all the way to 24th street, to go to the Taco Loco.

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