Things Get Cut to Pieces For Their Own Good

Elevator Buttons #2 small

“Elevator Buttons #2”

About 15 years ago, when I first started doing collage work, I made a piece called “Elevator Buttons”. I used paint chips and magazine pages. I held on to the collage for quite a few years; it hung in our kitchen for some time but eventually came off the wall and went into the basement. Recently, I’ve been cleaning out things around here. I decided that this collage was just right for mail art and I cut it into as many 6″ x 4.25″ rectangles as I could.

Haunted small


If you wonder what “Elevator Buttons” looked like before the paper-cutter did its work, I can’t show you, as I didn’t take a picture of it. I do have a picture, though, of a similar piece I made for a friend – she had admired the original one. (I don’t think she has cut it up yet.) Anyway, the result was several postcards ready-made for mail art, and I decided to write a haiku to add to each one. I ended up with a collection with each haiku inspired by an individual section of “Elevator Buttons”. It was fun to write with such an odd situation to inspire me.

And, it is interesting to me to read the haikus knowing how they came about and then to try think about what someone who came upon them without knowing their story might get from them.

A word on the use of paint chips in collage art – I find them hard to glue down, as they are stiff and they curl, but I love looking at them all arrayed in rows and rows at the paint or home improvement store. I can’t resist taking a nice selection whenever I am there. I have used them for a lot of purposes, and I find them especially good for creating people in my collages, such as the white figure in “Haunted”.

Enough backgound. Here is the group of haikus:


I used to be that

Now I’m this but I still know

what I used to know


One two three four five

now count me just a fraction

but still a number


Just off the edge, yes,

Used to be the center, yes,

Still worth a look, yes


Lost the rest of us

to the scissors. Survival

is everything.


A lot of white space

and you’re peeling off the edge

But me, I’m OK.


Interrupted thought

Cut off, truncated, severed,

Big deal. Still makes sense.

2 thoughts on “Things Get Cut to Pieces For Their Own Good

  1. The haiku are really interesting. I love how you used the cutting up the collage into the starting point for your haiku.The meaning could be imagined as being something quite different without that reference. It’s interesting isn’t it? Thanks for the paint chip tip. Louise

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