Mail-art by IUOMA member Richard Canard (Champagne, Illinois, USA)
May 6, 2011 - Richard Canard sent me this asemic poem (above). I am SO glad to be the recipient of his mail-art. A response to him is forthcoming just as quickly as I can produce something I think is worthy. Mr. Canard is very active in the network and hardly needs an introduction by me.
In particular, I enjoy seeing examples of his correspondence posted here at the IUOMA and elsewhere. Last year, I saw some wonderful exchanges with Elaine the Librarian (aka Batgirl) from Albany, New York.
Mr. Canard certainly re-affirms for me that correspondence is indeed an art. I always enjoy notes and letters from mail-art friends. I never tire (but probably tire people out) reminding them Ray Johnson had a Correspondence School, which would suggest writing is indeed inherent in this art we practice. Speaking of Ray Johnson, Mr. Canard included a wonderful quote on the envelope in his elegant handwriting:
Now about this asemic poem: Mr. Canard seems to have a longstanding knowledge of the types of poetry some of us are exploring here at the IUOMA. When Bifidus Jones (Minnesota) started the Haptic Poetry Group, I did some research to try to learn what it was all about. Among other things, I found pieces by Mr. Canard using the term many years ago. No, none of this is especially new.
However, I was most impressed last fall when Mr. Canard mailed visual poet Geof Huth (NY) an aluminum can that had been flattened by a car or truck tire. This was identified as either a readymade asemic or haptic poem. Geof posted it on his excellent blog, and it sparked a discussion in locations across the net. I thought Mr. Canard's mail-art was both humorous and thought-provoking; I admire Geof for not backing away from either prank or thorny theoretical issue.
I'm going to try to use the term "readymade" more often. I believe it might be a more appropriate substitute for "found." As I have noted before, using the term "found" is akin to stepping in quicksand.
So, as the recipient, do I accept a photocopy of the Rosetta Stone as an asemic poem without protest or qualification? Yes. Without hesitation. I've seen far worse. I think he went easy on me, as they say. Many thanks, Richard.