A sign of poetic justice

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SALT LAKE CITY — They started appearing in the spring on stop signs and street lamps around Salt Lake City — signs that looked like get-rich-quick schemes, but on second glance, were something else entirely.

"Poet seeks apprentice," one read. "Earn over $120K a year."

"Poetry helped me lose 10 lbs. in 10 weeks," another claimed.

Each included a short verse.

"We never had a chance to woo one another. In those days we came as we were. We were young and drunk on possibility, drunk on breaking the rules."

(Photo: KSL-TV)
(Photo: KSL-TV)

The poet responsible, who asked to remain nameless, said the signs began as the product of a writing class assignment to commit a public act of poetry.

She and her husband have a particular disdain for "Real estate investor seeks apprentice" signs.

"About two years ago … we decided to stop complaining about those signs and we'd see them and we'd jump out of the car and … pull them down," she said.

For the assignment, she decided to parody those signs.

"(The real estate investor signs) felt predatory and parodying those felt like this act of rebellion," she said.

(The real estate investor signs) felt predatory and parodying those felt like this act of rebellion.


"We had one man apply for the job," she said. "We had a couple of signs up in my yard for a week and a guy walked by one day walking his dog and he knocked on the front door and just wanted to know about the position.

"He was he was disappointed and he said actually that he had talked to his wife before he came over and she said it was a scam but he thought he should check it out anyway."


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Peter Rosen


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