MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic-haptic-visual-object poem from Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)


Mail-art by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Frankly, Richard Canard spoils us by sending us anything we hint at wanting. And this is another piece we greatly desired to acquire for the MinXus USA Archives. In return, Richard receives nothing from us but grief. Our “Fake Richard Canard Series,” oh we have to admit to you gentle Tenderfoots, was a total disaster. We incurred Richard’s ire, and he is the mildest of citizens. We believe he has finally gotten past it, as he is sending mail-art to us again. A public apology will be forthcoming.


We doubt there is anyone who does not know the story of the haptic-asemic poem Richard sent Geof Huth in 2010, and which Geof posted and discussed on his much-admired vispo blog.  This was all part of a fascinating discussion about what is and isn’t poetry. As we recall, the “poem” in Geof’s possession is a beer can that had been run over by a truck. The tread marks made asemic patterns. This work (above), proudly held by MinXus-Lynxus, is a bit different. Richard has done more wordplay with the label. Yet we consider it an unqualified masterpiece.

If there is any value to “conceptual poetry,” it is that it encourages post-literates who never have read or listened to poetry to confront the idea of poetry and poetics and to discover that once, long ago, people engaged in the practice.

As ever, thank you Richard Canard!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suffolkrebecca
    May 11, 2013 @ 21:33:53

    What a beauty!


  2. minkrancher
    May 13, 2013 @ 01:42:11

    Miss Becca, it is difficult to know the tone of your comment. You are a Trashpoet, so perhaps you have that deep appreciation only a Trashpoet can have for this flattened Red Bull can now called a poem.

    If you look at a lot of Richard Canard’s work, you can see he is at least in part a very clever conceptual artist, like his mentor RayJo. This is exactly the place where correspondence art departs from people simply trading art through the mail.

    For better or worse, it qualifies as conceptual art or conceptual poetry beginning with the contextualizing.


  3. suffolkrebecca
    May 15, 2013 @ 17:12:18

    I respond to the ease with which Richard can play with things. His is a ‘no frills’ approach that I appreciate especially because simplicity is something so hard for me to do. He sees so differently to me and it makes me smile, question, and in some way transforms my view and that’s why I said ‘it’s a beauty’. What’s a poem? What’s beauty? Great questions. But where is plain Marie?


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