MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo Collabs by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

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Mail art by Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

This summer we received two large packages of mail art from visual poet Jim Leftwich in Roanoke, the first of which (chronologically) we are documenting in this blog. The vast majority of the pieces are collaborations between Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow. (The exception is one very interesting asemic work at the end.) According to Facebook, Evan Damerow resides in New Zealand. His work was unknown to us before the arrival of this missive.

While Jim Leftwich seems to us inclined toward the prolific naturally, we attribute some of this outpouring of work this summer to the 2015 Marginal Arts Festival. The event seems to have been a great success and a perusal of the documentation will be rewarding to Tenderfoots, no doubt:

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The Anti-Brain Rot mail art call and exhibition also accompanied the festival, which occurred in July (2015). Here is some partial documentation of the entries via C. Mehrl Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA):


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Unless otherwise indicated, all the pieces shown here are Jim Leftwich-Evan Damerow collabs.

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These Leftwich-Damerow collabs hold specific interest to the trashpoets and D-Kulters in the network (many of whom are rabid followers of our humble blog), as Jim Leftwich is acknowledged as having created some of the earliest Trashpo (2005). These pieces (the current work shown here) use found material, have the organic structure so recognizable in most Trashpo and also show the anti-art stance and the On the Road spontaneity of Trashpo composition.

Trashpo is a form of visual poetry. (Many current practitioners are either unaware of or disregard this fact). The pieces documented here make abundant and innovative use of text, text-image associations and juxtapositions, cut up, disruption, asemics and other approaches that are related to poetry and the poetic as well as the tenets of Trashpo rather than mere collage. In short, they are excellent examples. The work transcends Trashpo in many ways yet still offers insights into Trashpo theory and practice for the working trashpoet.

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A bonus in the package was the piece below: “Spirit Writing” by Jim Leftwich (1997), a piece of historical significance because it was made so early in the context of the current thriving and burgeoning asemic movement. Jim Leftwich, however, and as many know, has reservations concerning the use of the term “asemic” and having his own work labeled as asemic writing. So we encourage Tenderfoots to consider the perspective of visual poetry here, although we believe the tide of history is very likely to identify Jim Leftwich as an asemic writer (among other designations):

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A closer look:

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Many thanks to Jim Leftwich and Evan Damerow!

MinXus Mail Bag: On Bad Poetry: Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands), Maria Morisot/Moan Lisa (Iowa City, Iowa, USA), Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

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Mail art by Ruud Janssen (Breda, Netherlands)

This Richard Canardesque card we received from Ruud Janssen is very thought provoking in terms of some of the Eternal Networkers whose work we follow closely. Specifically, Diane Keys (Elgin, Illinois, USA) has founded the Museum of Bad Mail Art (MOBMA), which is very popular and consistently attracts work. Moan Lisa is currently inhabiting the Maria Marisot identity (Iowa City, Iowa, USA). Moan-Maria has a particular genius for founding movements and issuing mail art calls that generate widespread interest and responses. One of them is Bad Poetry:



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We greatly appreciate more DKULTN and Trashpo stamps, and Trashpo is relevant to the current discussion. But back to the main topic: We have kept some distance from both the Bad Poetry and Bad Mail Art calls because we are perplexed about defining what is “good” and what is “bad” in the context of mail art, especially when anti-art and found art are factored in. We are not against Bad Poetry or MOBMA; we are just confused. Ruud Janssen’s card suggests to us that we are not the only ones trying to define “bad poetry.” Is it good bad poetry? Is it bad good poetry? We do not know. We do know we are pleased to receive a great deal of poetry from Moan-Maria. But is it good? Is it bad?

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Mail art by Maria Morisot (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

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Mail art (plasticized) by Moan Lisa-Maria Morisot (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)

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We can offer no insight in terms of helping to identify bad art or bad poetry. Perhaps the insinuation of the question is what is important. We will, however, conclude with the insights of Richard Canard that often address these issues:

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

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Many thanks to Ruud Janssen, Maria Morisot, Moan Lisa and Richard Canard.

Mail Art Call by Jim Leftwich for Roanoke/Collab Fest – Deadline Approaching! (Roanoke, Virginia, USA)

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Some Tenderfoots know him simply as “Jesus Jim,” inventor of Trashpo.

Others know him as Jim Leftwich, a visual poet and theorist of great distinction. Regardless, if you visit our humble blog then you are called upon to send mail art to this year’s event in Virginia, which is associated with the former Marginal Arts Festival.

Note that the deadline is June 27, 2015!


422 Walnut SE#2

Roanoke, VA 24014-USA

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For more information:


MinXus Mail Bag: Asemics & More by Mick Boyle (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Mail art by Mick Boyle (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania, USA)

We are very pleased to extend a large “Howdy” and a secret MinXus handshake to veteran mail artist Mick Boyle from nearby Pennsylvania. Mick Boyle’s envelope contained (above) this excellent print based on asemic characters created by Jason Motsch. Work by Jason Motsch, of course, has graced our humble pages in recent weeks. The collab is explained on the print’s reverse side. Unfortunately, it did not scan well:

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We are very pleased to have this fine asemic work for the MinXus archives, and we will be sure to share it with the asemic writing group at the IUOMA. Mick Boyle is also currently involved in Trashpo and DKult. He sent some material connected to arcane Kult matters:

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Fluxus bucks especially, we believe, have inspired the creation of invented currencies that pass through the network. Mick Boyle sent these unusual pieces:

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The envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Mick Boyle is curating an exhibition of red-themed work, and he is calling for submissions. Make sure to check out the work he has received. If you haven’t sent him something, now is the time!


MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Vispo & Mail Art Call by Rosa Gravino (Canada de Gomez, Argentina)

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Mail art by Rosa Gravino (Canada de Gomez, Argentina)

Rosa Gravino is a wonderfully talented visual poet and faithful correspondent. She continually works on exhibitions that promote vispo (visual poetry) on a global scale. We have enjoyed working with Rosa Gravino for some time. In particular, we have fond memories of her contributions and involvement in the book projects we coordinated with Cheryl Penn (South Africa).

So we are thrilled to have received this postcard-size asemic work by Rosa Gravino. While the asemic elements are pronounced in this piece, we have seen many other fine examples of vispo-asemic hybrid work by Rosa Gravino. Here is the reverse side of the card:

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Rosa Gravino included documentation from one of her amazing exhibitions.

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Marcela Peral is another excellent visual poet. Here is the reverse side. You can click to enlarge:

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Rosa Gravino also included a modified call for more work:

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Send your vispo!

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Make sure to visit Rosa Gravino’s blog:


MinXus Mail Bag: The Incredible Hull-K – E Elkan (Hull, UK)

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Mail art by E Elkan (Hull, UK)

We offer a big “Howdy” and extend a secret MinXus handshake to Tenderfoot E Elkan whose FAB work graces and brightens our humble blog for the first time today. Exciting things are happening in Britain these days, and E Elkan (E E) – an apparent newcomer – is contributing to the effort. We spotted some fine work already by E E upon Miss Becca’s venerable blog, and E E is currently a presence at IUOMA-Ning where one can see more examples of the art.

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E Elkan produces what we will label a kind of expressionist art that exists on a borderland between rarified aesthetics and engaging graphic art. Sometimes we find the work making a segue into cartoons, which is meant to be a compliment. We certainly see a style and attitude ideally suited to mail art. E Elkan also has a special stamp-making talent. It is also early in the game, and we are relating some general and largely unformed impressions at this stage.

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In this mailing, E Elkan explores Moan Lisa’s (Iowa, USA) 5089 concept. 5089 is one of Moan’s calls that has “legs.” Many artists have responded. With Moan Lisa, we always caution against seeking rational or logical explanations. 5089 seems to represent Moan’s idea of a post-mail art movement,  but defining that movement is left to the participants.

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Like many of Moan’s chosen symbols and icons, 5089 is indeterminate. For the participating artists, it has become a floating signifier to be used for various subjective purposes. E Elkan sent the work in a wonderfully decorated envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Deepest thanks to E Elkan of Hull for sending this wonderful mail art!

MinXus Mail Bag: Dynamic Duo Illustrations, Letter + Mail Art Call from Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds & Alyssum (Payson, Arizona, USA)

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Mail art by Chris Reynolds aka Mudhead and Alyssum (Payson, Arizona, USA)

Our favorite Seers – Mudhead and Alyssum – have sent us a fabulous new missive featuring some absolutely extraordinary drawings we are thrilled to share.

Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds is well known in the mail art network as well as in the Fluxus community. The duo of Mudhead and Alyssum is emerging as an exciting presence. We first wrote about them in February:


Back to the new work:

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Our praise of the illustrations should in no way overshadow the power of the writing by Alyssum and Mudhead. “Letter: 1 One Won 1” is a masterpiece worthy of perusal and meditation. Mudhead and Alyssum are far more than a collaborative, artistic duo rooted in sensational visuals. They are formulating a philosophy and a way of living that integrates art and life as well as participation in the network.

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Mail art by Chris Reynolds aka Mudhead and Alyssum (Payson, Arizona, USA)

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These wonderful drawings remind us of the underground comix milieu and R Crumb in particular, although comparison to another artist – again – has limitations. First, Chris Reynolds has a highly individualistic and developed style, which is uniquely his own and recognizable. Second, Alyssum’s drawing talent is proven here to be equally astounding as well as complementary to the duo. Given the choice by Alyssum and Mudhead to go “off the grid” and (mostly) utilize mail art’s traditional modes, a retro nod to the old underground is highly appropriate. Furthermore, we know Mudhead is more than capable of intentionally choosing this as an artistic strategy and Alyssum appears to be very abstractly and conceptually grounded as well. We believe an enlightened retroism informs this package and contributes to its success.

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We were a bit conflicted about posting this work on the net, probably a needless concern as Alyssum and Mudhead continue to post work online. However, we see it as a way to introduce the Seers concept and Mudhead and Alyssum to Tenderfoots who might not otherwise encounter them. Work by Mudhead and Alyssum could potentially resonate with people and even be life changing.

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Here is the envelope:

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And the reverse:

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Many thanks to Alyssum and Mudhead!

Make sure to visit Alyssum Moinet’s blog:


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