Micrograffiti: Guts by Mark Sutz


Guts by Mark Sutz

The rite was this: tongue the fish. From head to tail. Then you could claim your own slab of the Tunnel to paint. But first: tongue the fish on the cold, grey wall.

Me and my brother Bobby, we lived closest to the Tunnel, so we anointed ourselves little St. Peters. We’d eyeball the boys who wanted to paint, then make them lick the fish. Only when Sophie’s turn came, we told her no, cause no girl had painted in the Tunnel before. When she left, Bobby said he wanted to let her paint. Said he liked the way she smelled.  The next day, we visited the fishmonger’s and asked him for a bag of guts.

“What for?” he asked and we only said, “Ma wants it for her little garden. Says it’s good for the roses.”

She was an animal lover, Sophie. Never ate them, always loved them. From a cockroach to the mangy cur my ma kept to scare off rose thieves. But we knew she’d lick the Tunnel Fish even after we’d rubbed the guts all over it, just so she’d own a little part of the wall.

She tongued the fish like a man that day. She ended up painting the Tunnel better than most boys we let through ever did.


Mark Sutz writes with hunks of charcoal on large slabs of pavement in Tempe, AZ.


Micrograffiti is a project edited by Stacey Swann. The writers were asked to respond with fiction to Ben Walters’ photographs of the South London graffiti tunnel. Click here to read more >>



  1. rose thief. I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

  2. nice.

  3. […] Mark Sutz wrote “Guts” […]

  4. […] Guts by Mark Sutz […]

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