The one I read first was a postcard featuring a blue and orange textual collage entitled "Watering Hard Salami." On the back, Fike writes, "Thank you for the enigMatic Map. 24?" which reminded me that I asked people to count how many ems appeared in my visual poem, "Camping by Pharoah Mountain." The other day, Roy Arenella guessed 17, which is actually correct. Mostly, what I made was a picture, a map, with ems (the Medieval symbol for water) representing most of the salient features on the map.
Fike's second mailing is an envelope decorated with a detail from "Langolf's Mermaids' Lip," a text presented so as to appear to be a gene sequence. Inside, Fike has included three of his cards, including one with "Kiyotei" in the title. Fike also includes his usual tabular printout of mailart sent and received along with this note:
Hi, Geof, once again, I feel I've 'flunked'. Sigh. (my instant impressions ["Gee!, Geof, I'm mystified [glyph repeated front/back resembles robot or test tube with wry smile"] didn't come to closure nor (probably) begin to 'hit' it. Great old pic of A.J.B. [Amelia Jenkins Bloomer --ed.] and great placename postmarks.
Well, I might be hard to understand, but at least people enjoy the Caroga Lake postmarks. Too bad I probably won't have any more of those until next year!
Ficus strangulensis, Detail from "Kiyotei Look-thru Oh-three" (23 Aug 2004)
un violon d'ingres