Spreading the Difference – Shameless MinXus Selfpromotion [2]

Pre-Minxus relic: Music by Dick Higgins composed by firing rifle at blank score sheets – later performed by Philip Corner


Musical composition by Dick Higgins circa 1962. Probably part of score later performed by orchestra conducted by Philip Corner.

MinXus mail from Ms. Theresa Williams (Bowling Green, Ohio, USA) in honor of Walt Whitman, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), and Lorine Neidecker

Sometime during the unbridled wysteria that engulfed Solar Festival 2012, faithful correspondent Theresa Williams sent us this lovely material commemorating the immortal poets Walt Whitman, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), and Lorine Niedecker. Ms. Theresa is well-aware that all three poets meet the requirements of taste and decorum that make them worthy of mention by MinXus-Lynxus.

We are so happy to learn that Ms. Theresa has been appointed (even if by herself) President of the New Arazamas Literary Society. We can understand why she was selected. Here is the beautiful reverse side of the “Lives of the Annointed [sic]” card:

We are moved by the sentiments expressed as well as the fine quality of the printing. Concerning Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), who might not be as familiar to the discerning as Walt Whitman and H.D. (we always defer to Mr. Robert Duncan on that subject), MinXus-Lynxus very much approves of the company she kept and activities she was involved in at a certain point in her career. These include but are not limited to:

Objectivists and Objectivism in the 1930s (no relation to Ayn Rand)


Mr. Louis Zukofsky

Mr. Louis Zukofsky’s theories of the “poem as object” & his “Sincerity and Objectification” essay

Mr. George Oppen

Mr. Carl Rakosi

Mr. Charles Reznikoff

Kenneth Rexroth (an Objectivist drop-out, Rexroth’s contributions to the Poetry Chicago issue are well worth a glance)

Ever thoughtful, this mirthful tribute to the poets came in a decorated envelope:

And the reverse:

Make sure to visit Theresa Williams’ “The Letter Project,” a modern correspondence school:


In the midst of celebrating Solar Festival 2012, our spirits briefly sank into the squalid mire of despair’s gutter when our original blog, now known as MinXus-Lynxus I, was completely obliterated by a wanton act of destruction so cruel and irrational (or totally incompetent) we question if the perpetrator(s) can be deemed as human.

So as not to be silenced, we immediately established MinXus-Lynxus II, and Dark wall, if not already, became a hero salvaging material that many said could not be recovered from the ether. Yet some MinXus treasures have been lost forever.

Many of our faithful correspondents have still not found their way back to the blog, even though they continue to send work through the postal system. We can imagine their confusion when MinXus-Lynxus suddenly disappeared.

Ms. Theresa is one of them. We hope her comments will again grace these now-diminished but ever-determined pages.

Many ask us: “Who is the miserable culprit, the fascist who destroyed the art and wisdom of MinXus?”

We do not know ourselves but have determined it was an “inside job.” We were extraordinarily lax about allowing access to the blog’s administrative section. Perhaps it was incompetence that accidentally deleted all our work? That cannot be ruled out. Then fear and shame to confess?

Was it a “Lone Gunman” or a conspiracy? We have no answers at this time. A new security system makes it impossible for contributors to “blow-up” MinXus-Lynxus again. The destruct button can now be accessed by only one individual and it is with one individual that the fate of MinXus rests. Our current contributors should feel free, indeed are encouraged, to post anything they deem appropriate.

Empress Marie fell into a dangerous spell of wysteria and experienced a return of the periodic amnesia (aka ‘nesia) with which she is afflicted. She is deeply concerned that during her summer travels in Europe some scoundrel might have taken priceless MinXus codes and passwords from her when she, admittedly, was too freely partaking of the wines of Alsace over several days and locations she cannot entirely recollect as the result of the trauma she has experienced.

Another theory is that German customs agents procured the codes and passwords during one of the many detainments and humiliating personal searches the Empress has had to endure in order to enter her beloved Alsace.

Pressure to bring the culprit to justice remains intense. Fingers have been pointed in several possible directions. At the risk of implicating the innocent, here is the list so far:


Errorists (TOXIS terrorists)

Empress Marie Antonette

David Zack

We will probably never know, but we will notify you concerning new developments. We felt the subject must be addressed.

Dark wall’s “Parolette unplugged or now can you see the parrots?”

The Mysterious Disappearance of the MinXus Evolution Tree [part II]

By adopting this method, once you have examined the unusual events, you will have to proceed to the usual ones, The what ones, The usual ones, What do you mean by usual, Usual is the opposite of unusual, its antonym, If necessary, we shall pass from the unusual to the usual events, but we must discover the cause, You have a lot of investigating ahead of you, We’re making a start, tell me where you found the strength.

José Saramago – The Stone Raft

Canadian mail-artist Med Wolf seeks to find final resting place of Neo founder David Zack – mail-art call issued! – send work and information

“David Zack” by BuZ Blur (Courtesy of Ross Priddle’s Bent Spoon)

Med Wolf (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) has issued a mail-art call to honor Neo founder and one of the world’s great mail-artists David Zack.

Most sources indicate David Zack died in 1995, although Med Wolf claims to have been in contact with him as late as 1998. Zack’s final resting place is unknown. Med Wolf is trying to locate Zack’s grave, make it a shrine, and gather mail-artists from all over the world to participate in a ceremony on the site.

Additionally, a full range of rumours and legends concerning David Zack are still in circulation, ranging from contentions that he never existed in the first place to he is still alive. Based on available evidence, the MinXus-Lynxus current position is that David Zack was a real person and it is very likely that he is no longer alive.

The Neoist use of fake and multiple identities makes all this very complicated. Monty Cantsin, for instance, was a fictitious identity used by numerous people. David Zack plausibly could be another similar case, although reliable sources claim to have known David Zack. It is possible that David Zack has been active in mail-art during the last 20 years using other identities that are now well-established.

Zack, along with luminaries such as Blaster Al Ackerman and John M. Bennett, represent a generation of artists and writers who expanded mail-art beyond Ray Johnson’s circle, contributing significantly to today’s global network and innovations ranging from visual poetry to performance art.

Information about David’s Zack’s life, work, and demise are included in Ruud Janssen’s (Netherlands) classic interview with Blaster Al Ackerman (Maryland, USA).


Here is an excerpt from the interview about Zack:

Ruud Janssen:   Well, the things you write down now reveal already a part of the 14SM [14 Secret Masters of the World].  What ever happened to Dave Zack?

Answer on 5-1-1997

Al Ackerman:   Dave Zack, now, that glittering guy.  There are times when I think he was the most wayward-tragic-doomed figure I ever met, and other times when I think of him I can’t stop grinning.  (Humm, something not quite right about that last sentence, but hopefully you get my drift.)

“It doesn’t make it if my postman doesn’t get it,” Zack would mutter, shuffling toward the mailbox, his arms overflowing with envelopes, each day’s astonishing, and astonishingly arted, output.

“This is this,” and as he moved, things would drop from his beard and shaggy jacket: cookies crumbs, flakes of gold glitter, twigs and old leaves. When it came to grooming he was a sort of latter-day Swamp Thing.

There are mail artists, quite a few, maybe the majority, who manage to practice their art and in the same breath are able to coexist peacefully and even successfully with the workaday world: they pay their bills and hold down jobs and have families, and never jail, and this and that.  Not so Zack.  Zack was a law unto himself.  He was what the scifi people mean when they use the term “mad genius,”and what Aesop had in mind when he penned that cautionary fable about the grasshopper who got punished terribly for dicking around on his fiddle when winter was fast approaching.  Zack was brilliant, madding and great.  Difficult, visionary and cracked.  I would go over to his house in the late 70’s, in Portland, and find him busy as a bee collaging phone and utility bills.  As I later explained it in an article, “In those days Zack knew he would never be able to pay all the bills that came to the house, so rather than show any favoritism or partiality he made it a practice to pay none of them, equally.  Rather, he would take the various gas and water and electric bills (also the subpoenas and summonses — never any lack of those) and construct these beautiful 10-foot-high assemblages, which he would then title ‘Tall Carefree Clown #27,’ ‘Tall Carefree Clown #28,’ whatever number it happened to be in the sequence, and these he usually sent out and about as part of his mail art.  It was a quite amazing continuous year-round project….” Or I’d go over and find him busy petitioning officials at the state capitol, pestering them with his different nutty fundings proposals. Or he’d be playing his cello upside down.  Or he’d be writing something for the art mags. 

At the same time he gave the imprimatur to mail art by being one of the first to write about it at length for a major slick-paper journal (Art in America), he was finding time to come over and live for long stretches in my pantry, and in my dreams I can often still hear him in there, munching, munching.  (Like Wimpy in the Popeye strip, Zack’s motto was always, “I would like to invite you for a duck dinner — you bring the duck!”)

In collaboration with Istvan Kantor, he helped dream up the “Monty Cantsin” name and concept, and what later became Neoism.  He was certainly one of the all-time world-class letter writers, right up there with Henry Miller and Fanny Burney.  At some point I gave him the nickname Dave “Oz” — Oz obviously being the only locale that could comfortably accommodate him, Baum’s magic fantasy kingdom where even the animals can talk.  By and large we had a lot of laughs and he seldom failed to make me want to chew the rug and pull my hair out.

In the late 70’s, true to his history of hairbreadth escapes, Zack gave his Portland, Oregon, creditors the slip by moving to Canada.  There he operated a sort of quasi-legal rooming house for drunkard Newfies.  A few years later, he left Canada one jump ahead of the mounties and used the money I grudgingly loaned him to lam down to Mexico.  Ultimately it didn’t make a hell of a lot of difference to the Mexican authorities that, in Zack, they had one of the world’s top idea-man and practitioners of mail art.  The authorities were more interested in the fact that for two or three years he’d been cashing his dead parents’ Social Security checks, which was the routine he’d worked out to support his mail art activities.  They tossed him in the jug (I tend to lie awake thinking of this by the hour because if things had happened a little differently I could have gone the same route myself).  In ’91, after three or four years of who-knows-what-hell, they finally let him out, probably afraid he was going to die on the premises — by then, Zack who had a lifetime history of diabetes was gravely ill, with (among other things) gangrene of the foot.  Somehow he made his way to San Antonio, Texas, and all praise to Patty Blaster who took him in and did what she could for him until what little health he had left failed him.

Last I heard he was in a country rest home or some damn place, stroked out, largely unresponsive.  Not long ago – last week, in fact – I had an E-mail from one of his former girl friends, Judith Conaway, who’d done a lot to help him over the years, saying she’d heard that he’d died in the latter part of ’95. Maybe so.  On the other hand, such was my old pal’s cantankerousness, his boundless power for aggravation that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up again.  The way I picture this, I’ll be transporting a heavy piano across a rope bridge in Africa and halfway across the chasm I’ll meet a figure in a gorilla suit who’ll proceed to jump up and down and mess things up outrageously.  That’ll be Zack.

Here is the information Med Wolf posted at the IUOMA (aka Yo Ma):

“Please send “Mail Art” re- is the great mail artist David Zack really in the spirit world… all works will be posted [on Med Wolf’s blog – link below].

Project is ongoing, no fee,no jury, no returns and the theme is “Zack Sightings“….if u know someone who looks like Zack then send me a pic,create a pic, become a pic etc etc…some have said that Zack was a shape-shifter and may still walk among us not in human form but as an animal or bird..send mail to:

Zack Sightings c/o Medwolf

RR 7,Site 715,Comp 62

Saskatoon,Saskatchewan,Canada S7K 1N2

I will send something back…. The David Zack Show opened at The New Gallery (TNG) in Calgary, Alberta,Canada october 10/ 2008, it is a retrospective /commemorative installation of zack’s work mostly focusing on the 70’s and 80’s, the show is based on Istvan Kantor`s archival collection extended with contributions from many other artists, he is still collecting material…a book/catalog will be published after the TNG show therefore it will include details of the installation together with essays and additional information and visuals…”

For more information of David Zack and Med Wolf, make sure to visit:


MinXus mail from Mr. Alexander Limarev (Novosibirsk, Russian Federation)

MinXus-Lynxus USA is thrilled to have received this work of visual poetry from new correspondent Alexander Limarev of Russia. This is a large piece (approximately 8.5 x 11 inches). While hardly lacking in visual imagery and textures, it is essentially minimal with “GLOOM” being composed of smiles: a very nice touch of irony.  Observers are certainly aware of the gothic strain in MinXus, aka MinX Noir or visnoir. Alexander has made a fine contribution to this genre. He wrote a message on the reverse side:

He kindly informs us the work is composed a “laser print, drawing, [and] embroidery.” A very thoughtful piece indeed!

Alexander Limarev does not seem to have a blog. Perhaps you would like to send him something. He seems to be especially interested in stamps:

Deepest thanks to Alexander! We will send you something in return very soon!

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