“Temple of the Monkeys” by Dark wall – asemic poetry, concrete poetry, conceptual poetry

In the quest for the cryptic circles, what secrets await in the Temple of the Monkeys? Surely a clue of great significance. A long journey to an obscure place only identified on an obscure map obtained with only the greatest difficulty. An uneasy night in the Motel Modern Television. The monkey guards. And what awaits inside…

Temple of the Monkeys


MinXus Mail Bag: Dark wall receives mystery mail-art from a secret admirer




Trambolho Projarte features asemic writing by Kerri Pullo Rivera (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

All of us at the Mink Ranch send a big hooray to Kerri Pullo Rivera! Congratulations on the publication and the beautiful asemics!


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Asemics by Kerri Pullo Rivera (Courtesy of the MinXus USA Archives)

MinXus Mail Bag: Super collage & classic mail-art by Michael Orr (Clarkston, Georgia, USA)

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Mail-art by Michael Orr aka Pone (Clarkston, Georgia, USA)

We very much enjoy being members of the Fluxus Poetry group at Flickr, hosted by the great visual poet Litsa Spathi. Over the course of time, we became intrigued by the work of another member who goes by the name Pone or Cornpone; and as one thing leads to another, we discovered (or assume) these are mail-art monikers used by Michael Orr of Georgia, who is also an active IUOMA member. (I can be confused by multiple identities too but staunchly support the practice.)

Many friends are familiar with Michael’s awesome collage work, often done using the digital (or hybrid digital) medium, which gives the work sharpness and clarity even when incredibly complex. So we were thrilled to receive this piece, which we present as the first part of a two-part series. Here is the reverse side:

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The distinction between collage and visual poetry can be murky territory. We believe Michael Orr is producing excellent vispo these days, and this piece is a good example. The work incorporates text masterfully and establishes image-language relationships as well as visual syntax. Some elements, the top of the piece for example, are at least asemic suggestive. The language exploration continues on the reverse side, including the excellent “There/There” mirror image-redundancy; that in itself is a nice minimalist, concrete poem.  Michael’s work, as evidenced here, often has a self-referential quality: The text commenting on text concept so evident in postmodernism (pomo). Here is a detail scan:

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The frequent references to the eye in this fragment can, among other possibilities, cause the reader to meditate upon visual perception and the nature of “reading” itself in the context of the work.  Also included was this found bag, which the recipient might or might not associate with the collage:

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And the reverse:

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Michael Orr has certainly achieved a highly individualistic synthesis of the DaDa, Fluxus, Absurdist strain in mail-art. He also included an add-and-pass sheet:

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I have seen this guy’s pic before. Is this Ross Priddle? I used to think (seriously) it was Moan Lisa. Here is the reverse, ready for a contribution and to be mailed:

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And all of this enclosed in a great envelope:

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Many thanks to Michael Orr for this astonishing work (I am running our of complimentary words)!

See more work by Michael Orr: http://cornpone.tumblr.com/


MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic writing from meeah Williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

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Mail-art by meeah Williams (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

We are thrilled to share with you this fantastic visual poetry with asemic writing sent to us by new friend meeah Williams in Brooklyn, New York. meeah has been posting often literary, often witty and always insightful blogs at the IUOMA. Obviously blessed with a natural curiosity and inquiring mind, she has been digging into mail-art history.

She has been discovering the various obscure forms and practices that flourish in the network but are little known elsewhere. These include asemics, concrete poetry, visual poetry, haptic poetry, object poetry and the general tendency to work with found materials, manifested recently in Trashpo. (Not to mention numerous visual art practice derived from DaDa and Fluxus.)

meeah is a quick study, indeed, as we understand she has not previously worked with these forms in any conscious or concerted way. The work above synthesizes text, image and shape as well asemic symbols into a fascinating field composition that displays a formal structure. This is a great example of a work that balances a certain degree of formalism with the organic. She also included a kind and compelling message on the reverse side:


meeah Williams raises numerous issues here that have relevance to many. At the core, we believe we discern the beginning of a serious discussion about the role of the avant garde (or postavant as some have suggested) in challenging the constructs that enforce what is sometimes called “official” or “shared” reality and our role, or the lack of a role, in creating it.  meeah points out the phenomenon. While “asemic writing” is a difficult concept, people seem to produce it, especially in childhood. Yet meeah’s missive deserves a personal response, which we shall write, while at the same time sharing her thoughts.

Make sure to visit meeah Williams’ blog:


MinXus Mail Bag: Tangerine dream from K.S. Chambers (Anaheim, California, USA)


Mail-art by K.S. Chambers (Anaheim, California, USA)

Tenderfoot K.S. Chambers makes a stunning debut at the Mink Ranch with this luscious, orange-drenched altered postcard.  We find this mail-art to be a masterpiece of tonality and colour gradation. Again, we are not sure if it is by chance or design, but K.S. Chambers has given us a piece that matches the MinXus aesthetic with its tangerine reference; tangerine must surely be the official MinXus colour. The strip across the top also provides asemic writing, which can be viewed as a forever cryptic and indecipherable caption for the festive but also, no doubt, ritualistic events depicted in the photo: Here is the reverse side:


In addition to the lovely images on the front, K.S. Chambers provides us with deeply engaging and entertaining stamp work. Many thanks, Keith! We look forward to more exchanges in the future.

Keith has an intriguing blog with some amazing pics!


MinXus Mail Bag: Shine on you crazy diamonds from Amy Irwen (Rosemount, Minnesota, USA)

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Mail-art by Amy Irwen (Rosemont, Minnesota, USA)

We have been aware of Amy Irwen’s mail-art for several years now, and we have completed a number of successful exchanges. Lately, we have been particularly impressed with the evolution of her collages. So we were thrilled to receive this recent correspondence from her that, by chance or design, responds to themes on the MinXus-Lynxus blog.

We think we see Amy’s work growing in complexity, sophistication and density in terms of multiple interpretation and interesting juxtaposition.  The collage above is decidedly geometric, or put another way, it plays with the idea of geometry and formal construction.  In terms of MinXus symbology, we have the use of the playing card (which frequently appears in MinXus compositions) and holes, referencing Holism. Very nice! We are tickled pink!. Amy includes an interesting message on the reverse side:

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Thanks for the thanks, Amy. Here at MinXus-Lynxus, we always call “a spade a spade.” That is, when we see something we like in particular, we say so and try to explain why, working on the assumption that it is one among many more or less equally valid opinions and that attention to one thing in no way negates many other things. Amy Irwen’s wonderful mail-art inspires us to share two MinXus relics that hopefully provide context:


Mink Ranch playing card collage by Dark wall (2012)

Amy notes a “complicated soul” in her kind note. Neither confirming nor denying the assertion, we share a chapter from “The TOXIS Adventure” that addressed the same issue:


“Dark wall why are you so complicated?” from The TOXIS Adventure (2012)

Deepest thanks to Amy Irwen for a wonderful and inspiring collage!

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