Since both of the cards have the same date, I had to use the cards’ sequential numbers to figure out which is first. As I was doing that, I realized that on 29 June 2004, when Roy was creating these two cards, I was supposed to be giving a workshop on Hauppauge, Long Island. I cancelled the trip the day before, but I wonder how close I would have driven to Forest Hills.
Card # 270
is a “p/c” or “photo/card” (to use Roy’s spelling—I eschew the slash). On the front is a typical Arenellan photograph in clear and vibrant greys, taken in Brooklyn, New York, on 14 Sep 1995.
Roy Arenella, "Nobody is Allowed" (14 Sep 1995)
On the back, Roy discusses how and why to edit the sign he has photographed and placed on the front of the card. The reverse side of the card also sports a giant top hat, its brim curving over my surname, and a stamp of Edward G. Robinson wearing a classic fedora. (I often wonder how many different rubber- and postal stamps Roy had. He must have two cornucopia at home filled with different stamps. How else could he find so many images of hats?) I’ve no idea what the “LES” in the pseudo-cancellation signifies. The French plural form of “the”? And does Roy know I was an English major? tho maybe not a “priggy” one.
Card # 272
is a “cxco,” which I’ve now figured out—with help from Roy—is “color xerox collage card” (so “X” doesn’t mean “kiss”!). (I’ll note that Roy sent mailing number 271—which came between these two cards he sent to me—to someone else. I wonder who.) This card’s pseudo-cancellation includes a rubberstamp image of a man with a letter running anxiously to an unseen mailbox. It also includes a stamp showing a child’s rendition of Santa Claus, complete with a red Santa huth on his head.
Roy Arenella, "4th Attempt" (29 June 2004)
Roy makes his “4th ATTEMPT” to describe our postal/weblog communications:
Fighting off “was” & “will be”The front of the card consists of a visual poem/collage that exudes wabi: An olive green background through which has been torn a window, through which window shows a notebook with writing on it—writing that miraculously moves from one level of the collage to another:—the insIStence of is. Slightly damaged in the mails, my copy’s real tear mimics the image of a tear in the collage, adding another (a third) dimension to the piece.
he repeated to himself over & ov [here, the card runs out]
is . . . is . . . . is . . . .
Roy Arenella, "IS" (18 June 2004)
un violon d’ingres