Received from Cheryl Penn, South Africa--Dangerous Haptic Photograph

A dangerous photograph

never lies

put on your

Poems that draw blood

This is not a poem

it is haptic

when words refuse

to stay they leave


Ouch! I believe it was Franz Kafka who said we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. Do we sometimes need mail art that makes up yelp once in while too? Keep us awake? Years ago when I was taking a sculpture class, I remember my professor once saying, if what you're making can be described as cute, it ain't art. Hence, my fondness for this piece Cheryl sent. I mean, dang. Just looking at it makes people want to run and find their medical records to see if their tetanus shot is up-to-date. I'm fascinated by the figure who has donned so much armor (isn't armed armor redundant?) that it has left the figure trapped, "pinned down", and immobile. The figure has been motionless for so long, a spider has taken up residency, sitting on the face in an unbecoming squat. Nothing cute here and I love it. Receiving this piece stung me and woke me up. I'm curious about the soft letters and the perfume though. Are they supposed to be a ploy to cover up what lies within, or an addition to balance the pins and stabby stuff? I'll be revisiting this mail art for a long time. Thanks, Cheryl (and thanks too for the bandage).



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Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 30, 2010 at 12:25am
Well, time to leave the party, good night all: Kali Nyxta!
Comment by cheryl penn on November 29, 2010 at 11:40pm
He's very absent - I think it's tactical. Non-haptic interference.
Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 29, 2010 at 11:31pm
We just stay up to the wee hours of our time zone to meet here...good to be with friends! Can Bifidus find a way to get these blog posts and images and comments to the "Haptic Poetry" group? I fear that these bogs soon get buried under many others' other blogs...then it is an archaeological excavation to find 'em! i usually forget the title and can't "search" it!
Comment by Marie Wintzer on November 29, 2010 at 11:26pm
I meant live not leave, grrrrr...
Cheryl it's time to go to bed now!
Can't wait to see Snooks with a wig!
Comment by cheryl penn on November 29, 2010 at 11:21pm
Some of us should be asleep - but its more fun visiting friends... :-) Snooky a wig!! ?? Dark or light?
Comment by Marie Wintzer on November 29, 2010 at 11:13pm
It's funny, we all leave in very different parts of the world but we seem to be awake at the same time!
Sorry for such a pointless comment....
Comment by cheryl penn on November 29, 2010 at 11:03pm
I feel like I should be adding something here - I just dont know what. Yes - self portrait with wig. I went through one of those phases - dont we all? Dark hair for the dark side. The severely haptic side.
Comment by Jen Staggs on November 29, 2010 at 10:56pm
I love the red blood-like ink on the envelope and bandage- presupposing injury to the reader...is it a self-portrait?
Comment by De Villo Sloan on November 29, 2010 at 10:51pm
Such excellent comments! Haptic poetry isn't easy.
Comment by Jen Staggs on November 29, 2010 at 8:31pm
WOW. Cheryl! This is intense! I wondered how you would arrange your thorn pieces so that they could be mailed flat. What an incredible creation.

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