Monday, July 12, 2004

Mail Sent to Me on July Ninth

By some amazing coincidence of timing, I received four pieces of mailart today, all of which carry postmarks from 9 Jul 2004. These pieces traveled from California, Georgia, and New York, yet arrived on the same day. That is the magic of an intervening weekend.

kiyotei’s Asemia

kiyotei has sent me another postcard that riffs off one of my asemic fidgetglyphs and expands the form using his own verbo-visual dialect. His main asemic text is in green, written from the top to the bottom, and each character in each column of text interlaces with its neighbors, forming strange doublings along the way. Within this main text, kiyotei has drawn red lines, like a schematic diagram, that join the green dots that form nodes within the text. Around this entire scene, he has drawn in red an intricate micrographic text.

kiyotei, untitled asemic writing

Scott McDonald’s Box

This is the big mailing. Scott has mailed me a large plastic box (which he sealed shut with grey duct tape—now discarded—around its edge), the type of box used to hold old 5.25-inch computer floppy disks. After I open the box, I see on the bottom of the box seven small scraps of white paper upon each of which he has written a single haiku.

On the opposing side, within the small swinging pouch used to hold the floppies, Scott has placed a small picture frame that includes stylized images of two dancing flautists (one black, one white), upon which he has typed in red two fairly atypical haiku. He also includes a “thank you card,” his business card, which tells me he’s a systems administrator. At the back of the inside of this pouch, he has taped a small mathemaku of his. This sheet of paper is the original he used to create the original mathemaku.

Scott McDonald, "battle clad voodoo"

When I flip up the floppies-pouch, I find the original paper towel upon which he wrote his mathemaku based on my pwoermd “signt.” He wrote and posted this mathemaku within fifteen minutes of asking my permission to reuse my pwoermd, and I couldn’t figure out the surface he’d written the poem upon. My guesses were a piece of a tin ceiling or a piece of stippled embroidery. I had no idea at that time that Scott often reverses the polarity of his digital images, making the positive image negative.

Arenellanism # 294

On 11 Dec 2000, Roy finds a window carrying the message “rhyme / & reason / is just around the corner” and captures a subtle and beautiful picture of the world reflected in the window, including the image of Roy capturing this image.

Roy Arenella, "rhyme & reason"

The text of this card is another brief asemic text (created 4 Sep 2002) from Roy’s sequence “Continuing Signs.” The main postage stamp used this time is one of the poet T.S. Eliot (all rhyme, all reason) placed upside-down.

Roy Arenella, from "Continuing Signs"

Arenellanism # 295 X

This card includes an X to indicate that the obverse of the card is derived from a Xerox. The text on the front is written on an envelope postmarked 13 April 1926 in Berlin and is covered with an apparently asemic micrographic text by Robert Walser entitled “Microscript # 131.” The reverse of the card includes a brief note on two of my visual poems, ends with a mention of the “enrichment of species,” and is decorated with a postage stamp recognizing American botanists.

Robert Walser, "Microscript # 131"

In this last card, Roy has reduced my surname to seven vertical lines and a single dot between each of the two lines at either end of the sequence.

un violon d’ingres

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