Impossible Wants is an experimental exchange among local poets, artists, the St. Louis public, and City street repair crews in which we investigated what is unresolvable about ourselves and the place where we live.
When the Situationists spoke of “the beach beneath the street,” they brought what was unseen to the surface of language. As city dwellers, we romanticize stability, in our lives and on the roads we travel–when in fact, very little in our lives is static. Impossible Wants is an experimental and collaborative exchange among local poets, artists, the St. Louis public, and City street repair crews, in which we investigate what is unresolvable about ourselves and the place where we live. Since the spring of 2013 and into 2015, we have been making public space for this conversation. A team of poets have set up poetry booths in the city, beginning a series of interdependent actions that seed poems and tile-drawings, which City crews then embed into the street. With this array of participants, we are disrupting, as well as facilitating, social and spatial ecologies. We are using intentional and unintentional mark-making—writing, drawing, and cracks we create in our infrastructure as we traverse the city—as a way to reflect on our individual and collective wants. The private space of the self and the public space of the city are connected as we mine questions. How do we accept or strategize around what feels impossible? How do we find a way to adapt? How are we part of or apart from the conflicts and unspoken desires of our city? We believe that this edge of impossibility can feed creative practice or be a call to action.