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The mystery of the Citibank bulletin board poems

What counts as a poem? Kenneth Goldsmith reveals a short tale of poems found, and poet lost

As part of our new summer US project States of Independence we've invited our favourite 30 American curators, magazines, creatives and institutions to takeover Dazed for a day. 

Kenneth Goldsmith is taking over. The Museum of Modern Art's first Poet Laureate and founder of Ubuweb is on a mission to tell us why we should care about poetry at all – from his stirring call to arms (or QWERTY keyboards), to exclusive poetry designed to challenge your poetic preconceptions: Microsoft Word poems, found poems and Mira Gonzalez's diet poems

From graduate showcases to gallery big-hitters, the concept of "found objects" in the art world is one with which we are all on familiar terms. Not so "found poetry" – and yet, as Kenneth Goldsmith demonstrates in these anecdotal finds, poetry can be sourced in the most unusual – or, to an equal or even more fascinating degree, mundane – surroundings. As Goldsmith tells it, the mysterious cards began appearing in a Citibank community bulletin board on New York's Lower East Side in the mid-80s. "About 20 of them were posted over the course of six months and then abruptly stopped." The street artist has remained anonymous; you can take a peek at some of Goldsmith's favourite examples, below.