Vis-à-Vis Society Poem-Survey Findings


At our Graduate Student Happy Hour on January 10th, we had the pleasure of hosting the Vis-à-Vis Society. During the event they conducted experimental poetry using write-in survey questions. Here are the composite poems from their findings!

Composite poem from the Vis-à-Vis Society. The Vis-à-Vis Society’s poem-survey asked people to choose an object in the Mitchell Exhibition “Like a Valentine,” listen closely, and then write down what the object said.

Valentine For Jeffry Mitchell

Journeys are important and hard.

Kitch me!


We are inside.

I am a white Elephant. I like to stomp and play.

Cock and Balls.

Childhood forts, wet cardboard, boxes and broken teacups.

Pucker up, buttercup.

I’m so sorry you saw that, but I’m also kind of glad you did.

Johnny Depp, please.

Like a Valentine.

What liberates?—Death liberates.

I am more than I seem.


I was a horse once.

I light the way!

Hello J

Enter at your own Risk.

Hello Justin Phillips, doesn’t my work make you wish you were a gay man…

Yes, yes it does, let’s play.

Kisses & love wins.

Love is like a river.


Yer a wizard, Harry. (Said in parseltongue)

Like a virgin. I heart Madonna.

Dancing bears.

You jump first.

Oh great, someone deviled all our eggs again. Nice going, Ralph.

Don’t feed the animals.

I’m all itchy.

Break me.

Oh, hi there. (Shyly.)

I love life.

Actually, we aren’t supposed to touch the lamps.


Wasn’t clear we weren’t supposed to touch. L

I am a product of Holland that depends on China.

Hate getting in trouble when you don’t know.

Woman are objects (so are men).

I come from the sea, thus my barnacle beard!


Elephant is unpredictable

I may be fragile but I’m not delicate.


Composite poem from the Vis-à-Vis Society. The Vis-à-Vis Society poem-survey asked people to describe just one image observed in Pipilotti Rist’s video installation A la belle étoile.

A la belle étoile

Planet with candles

falling into mouth volcano.

A candled globe


Fingers of the trees,

fire from the stovetop.

Leaf on winter trees,

halo of flaming finger.

Dizzy rooftops reflected in windows.

Happy birthday, world!

Kid running.

Nerves which look like stars.

Open mouth.

Open mouth.

Person with open mouth.





Swimming girl.

Person in a yellow raincoat mouth agape, arms outstretched.

Mouth swallowing me.



A sexy lady.

Force fields.



Earthday cake.

Screaming woman.

A man/woman swallowing me.

A big mouth.

Earth stuck with birthday candles.

Upside-down streetlight.

Trees, white dots, woman’s crotch, zoom in.

Gas burner.

The earth.

Earth with candles.

My own death.

The bearded Viking-looking man brushed the hair behind his ear

while imagining himself a soccer goalie.

An open mouth swallowing a man.


swallowing stars.


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