Sad Girl of Montréal

Who is the sad girl of Montréal? She is graffiti across the street from the Hyatt Hotel, the conference entrance. My interest in her was created by the confluence of three unrelated events. The first was Joe Bergin's photo, just to the left. I had noticed the sad girl when I was visiting the conference site in December 2006 preparing for ooPSLA 2007. But I had forgotten her until I saw this photo when he sent it to me.

The second was the result of some difficult and ironic googling. You'll have to guess what that means since it would take a page or more to explain what I did. This brought up a website (that I'll not mention) that pointed to the following poems. They are not indexed by google, so no point looking yourself.

The site belongs to someone who apparently lives quite near this graffiti, and who has fallen in love with her or with something she represents. Perhaps her gaze is a clue.

The third is the video outfit I found in Montréal. When I was looking for someone to help me put together the Flash movie credits for ooPSLA 2007, I found a couple of kids still in college in Montréal who were trying to get going in graphic design and video. They put together a rough cut of the credits for me as an early release—rough for them—and then they kind of went off grid, and that rough video was all I had. They called themselves Sad Girl of Montréal Productions, and they used a photo of the graffiti as their logo. Actually their name was Fille Triste de Montréal Pro Ductions. As they told me time after time while listening to my requirements for the credits: très dommage.

Here are those poems:

Sad Girl in Montréal

there’s a v.sad girl in Montréal
trying to stare out her window
but her inward gaze gets her twisted
from out to in to out to in
even though it’s raining
the people walking beneath
on a night such as…
are worth being melancholy over
and they could sure use
her gaze

More on the Girl

like a bug not yet
discovered the street
along the river has a steep
bank to keep away the scouring
glances / along the bank
is a promenade and on it
couples walk / this scene
repeated over the millennia
when it was my turn to replay this
and my attention and gaze should have been
well you know
I instead turned like the aforementioned bug
in fear of the rushing river

I talked about a bug
and I’m sure you got the connections
throughout / nothing subtle about
this sort of making of poems

but the fear
the sad girl
it’s more connected than that

Sad Girl on the Wall

she’s on the wall
she is inspired by the red brick
that lies 90° to her plane
her red hair 90°es around the building
and flows down to a swath of pipes
she’s above the cars in the lot in front
she looks so French but this
is because of her sadness
the chips in the brick
show her age though it’s not her’s
let’s praise the artist for her
he thought (I think
it’s he) of the woman in the window
typing as if a reader were waiting
that and the rain in autumn
and cold in winter
are why she saddens
day by day on her wall

Sad Girl on a Rain Night

she waits on the wall
looking out all red and languid
her downturned and thick lips
boasting desire and consummation
she craves longing and searches
who might stop by on their way
through the unstopping rain to the dark
parts of town where fires in hearths
warm the waning hopes and hot drinks
are passed around against the clutching
night and hampering mist that rises
up in the rain from the river rushing past
faster than the sea beckons it
across the street under a slight eave
I wait with her

Mystery of graffiti

rain and wind
colors giving up
leaves and debris
the longing
the liquids mixing
languor on a brick wall
she is not my idea
she was someone’s
who knew how to do
something about it