I saw these cryptic words spray-painted on a construction site on SE McLoughlin a few weeks ago and thought they were the work of some sophisticated tagger. It took spotting similar text again near South Waterfront to realize they're actually part of a large public art project connected to TriMet's Orange Line construction.


Artists Buster Simpson and Peg Butler took submissions for a bunch of sentences to paint on the light rail construction's orange fences and, later, to print into concrete around the completed tracks. I think the project works pretty well—it made me do a double-take, at least, and circle back to read the surprising text. The chosen sentences are refreshingly not super perky, as most of the poetry on TriMet is. Some of the chosen texts are downright spooky, most of them would make me pause for a moment to think.