Received: Communique from Ficus strangulensis, Panjandrum of Blorchistan, Fertilizer of The One Tree (Charleston, West Virginia, USA)

Mail-art by IUOMA member Ficus strangulensis (Charleston, West Virginia, USA)

November 23, 2010 - A second missive arrived last week from new-old friend Ficus strangulensis, Panjandrum of Blochistan, Fertilizer of The One Tree. Since joining the IUOMA last summer, I have sought to engage him in hopes of obtaining some specimens of his current investigations, especially hopeful for some recent samples of his "cut-up" work. In a previous blog, I attempted to explain Ficus's art by comparing him to The Exterminator. In truth, Ficus strangulensis is post-Burroughs, having exquisitely refined certain discoveries first stumbled upon by the author of The Naked Lunch aka William Lee if you are following me down this Place of Dead Roads. Ficus is something that came next but in the same territory, more or less. Certain variables in the original equation have been altered. Ficus's note clarifies his current situation; same as the last:

Ah yes, the Perfect Score to which we all aspire. The context for this is that I sent Ficus strangulensis a copy of my first book: Ourang-Outang. The publisher, I believe, is a mutual acquaintance. The note reminded me of the influential TRANSMOG.(I knew the work of Ficus; I knew TRANSMOG. I didn't know Ficus=TRANSMOG - go figure). He also included a copy of "In the Fishtank" with writing by Paul Weiman and collages and drawing by Harold Dinkel (see below). Of course, I'm disappointed that the cut-up factory is on hiatus; but I am reasonably sure, from work I've seen elsewhere that Ficus is engaged with other vispoets collaborating, digitalizing, and recycling earlier work - notably with John and Mehrl Bennett. Ficus is exercising his right to bear and use firearms with expected ingenuity - another freedom Burroughs also cherished. A version of the spreadsheet (above) was also included in the first communication. It now dawns on me that - being a scientist - Ficus is keeping an extended record of work and correspondence he sends and receives. This might well prove to be, in the future, along with his archives, impressive documentation. Here is the back cover of the Weiman/Dinkel piece, bound with black duct tape:

On the back of Ficus's note to me, was a curious piece of found text: A description of a medicine called FLUoXetine. Equally described are benefits and side effects and the always wise advice to consult a physician. A statement of sorts? Or a bit of randomness? Such is the genius of Ficus strangulensis.

Here are two concrete poems from my book "Ourang-Outang" I sent to Ficus strangulensis:

Mail-art color of the day: chartreuse (TYJL)

Mail-art word for the day: simulacra

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Comment by cheryl penn on November 25, 2010 at 4:02pm
No ways are hopes dashed! This is good stuff! Put nostalgia into the present - its going to result in some great work. AND all the re-processing Ficus appears to be doing is so worthwhile - generating new life into old work - breathing it back into existence - man, great.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 25, 2010 at 4:00pm
To posters on the blog: My depression concerning this career setback should not be read as me suggesting anyone should become a delete-ist. This stream is priceless. I would say: "Let it be."
Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 25, 2010 at 3:49pm
Much appreciated, Cheryl. It's ironic that in the note I sent Ficus I posed the question: "Am I a nostalgia act?" - thus the reference to "nostalgia" in his note. Once upon a time some of us might have been called visual poets or concrete poets. Now I'm a mail-art animal wrangler in a virtual zoo. The fates are cruel indeed. I bet Ficus is in his basement shooting at some interesting targets today. Just speculating, as I had hoped to get to know him a bit better as we served in the same division but on different missions at slightly different times. Hopes are dashed, as ever...
Comment by cheryl penn on November 25, 2010 at 3:37pm
Amongst all the pudding and corgi's and Thanksgiving tinsel - great blog De Villo - and more - FANTASTIC Concrete Poetry - I spent some of the day getting more educated on this - I'm hooked. How about syntagm - or we could just go with pudding.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 25, 2010 at 1:47pm
Dear Marie, I am so sorry you had to see this blog where I have unwittingly become the host of "Corgi's Gone Wild." Thank you for answering the spotted dick questions with an image. That explains everything. By complete accident this coincides with Thanksgiving in the US, and I know none of this is making me very hungry. I was once a delete-ist. But no more. So another train wreck for the archives.
Comment by Marie Wintzer on November 25, 2010 at 1:05pm

Come on, it's not as bad as it sounds...
Well, I do read Sloan's blog but I did get stuck at the first picture this time.
And then there's Snooks, oh my.
Comment by Jen Staggs on November 25, 2010 at 3:59am
OH, you noticed that huh? Yep, Its. Fonzie's face is red.
Comment by Jen Staggs on November 25, 2010 at 3:13am
Funny, I have almost the exact same picture. Must be a corgi thing. Oh- and on topic: it's funny how spotted dick tastes just like bread pudding. Weird.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 25, 2010 at 12:19am
I'm only the messenger, alright? I thought Ficus might send me poetry. I get spotted dick instead. I thought he made it as a joke. Al Hansen once did a piece where he canned his shit, like in a regular tin soup can, and labeled it "Artist's Shit." I thought Ficus was aiming for something like that. I googled Heinz spotted dick, and this is a real product in Britain. Being ignorant, I can only conclude that British dick is spotted and that's normal. I can state as a fact I don't know anyone who eats spotted dick. But this has been a tremendous learning experience. You can put your leg down now, Snooker.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 24, 2010 at 11:36pm
Once I spotted Dick in the desert.



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