Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lionel's Essay Idea

From: Lionel Kearns, Vancouver, BC
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2007 5:16:38 PM
Subject: Postcards

Poem Posters,

Iʼm learning a lot from this project. There is a nice reciprocal balance here, sending and receiving, in this spontaneous community of the attentive and productive. Suddenly I have a whole new set of friends, with a closeness brought on by the intimacy of the form of exchange. The pcp is open, but contained, an opportunity to say/make/express/ whatever the moment, or the personal occasion, suggests, as long as we do it within the confines of the two small 2-dimensional surfaces. And, of course, the damn thing has to fly, unless you come up with some alternative (non digital) means of getting it to your target on time. (My personal preference would be carrier-pigeon).

So, we have now generated a cohesive body of active writers and readers, and it is working well as a non-hierarchical participatory community. My suggestion is that we also begin to act as editors. When the dust settles next month, each of us will have a fascinating collection of 30 or more pcps. Each of our individual collections will be unique and valuable in itself. The value, however, will reside in the hands, and the experience, of the individual who holds that specific collection. What to do with it will be up to the individual who has it. The combined collections, however, will be overwhelming because of the numbers, but that should not be a problem if each of us selects the most interesting piece contained in her or his pile, and writes about it. With each of us participating, a collection of these responses, along with the chosen pcps, would make a fitting legacy for the project, whether it winds up as a publication, exhibition, or something else.

I feel privileged to be part of this project. Thanks Paul for including me, and thanks to all of you who are keeping my mailbox full of surprises.

Lionel Kearns

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Postage to CA .69c U.S.

Thanks for the update Brent. I have not been able to get to the post office during their regular business hours, so went to the automated teller and found out what the postage is for a letter and put on three postcard stamps for cards headed to Canada. .69c is the official postage for a regular-sized postcard.

There are some reports cards to Canada are not getting there. Kim Clark, Linda Lee Crosfield, Valerie Fetherston, Amanda Earl and Lionel Kearns are the Canadian participants, so if they are on your list, make sure you put enough postage on card being sent to them. You actually have to write Canada on the address as well.

You may want to check with your post office if you have already sent cards to them and are not sure if you had enough postage.

One theory is that cards may be delivered with less postage than necessary, but will take longer. Maybe they'll go to the DEAD POSTCARD OFFICE, the postcard graveyard where postal officials, nothing to do all day but polish their automatic weapons, will read them and wonder WTF is happening and begin searching for targets!

So if you are not getting cards, please continue to send to your list. If you ARE getting cards, use those cards each day, in a manner similar to renga, to have some kind of link to the next person on your list despite the fact that you are linking to a poem written by someone else. It will be good to see themes emerge organically.

The idea is also to write spontaneously. That means write on the card! I know, not having a safety net is dangerous, so it requires a bit of incubation BEFORE you write, but incubation does not mean writing on paper, crossing out lines and putting a cooked version on to the card. Of course no one sees your process and if it is working for you, continue. The hope is that your writing practice will develop, you'll make new friends and get a bunch of cool cards. Some folks have awful handwriting. For them typing out the poems is fine by me.

Some people have talked about continuing the fest beyond August and I'd love to get feedback on that from anyone who does want to continue. Also, see the blog at http://www.poetrypostcards.blogspot.com (where I will post this email) and consider joining Crackbook, er, uh http://www.facebook.com for a lively group discussion and examples of some of the cards sent out. You have to register for that site, but it only takes 10 minutes and is an easy way to stay in touch and post postcards. If you DO post cards on that site, wait until you think a person has received them.

We're still looking for a cool venue in Seattle to have an event on September 22. If you know of a place where we could have wine, or tea, or bring same, please backchannel me.

This project has vastly exceeded all my expectations. Thank you.


Paul E. Nelson, M.A.

Global Voices Radio
American Sentences
Organic Poetry
Poetry Postcard Blog

Slaughter, WA 253.735.6328 or 888.735.6328

----- Original Message ----
From: Brent Allard
Sent: Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:01:29 AM
Subject: Re: August PostCard Poetry Fest-update?

Hi everyone,

Here's my deal. I've got 14 in the mail. I've received 9. They are each so unique and I've enjoyed each one. Thank you everyone. Does anyone know how much postage is required to send from the US to Canada?



Paul Nelson wrote:

----- Original Message ----
From: Jenifer Lawrence
To: Lana Hechtman Ayers
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 3:37:49 PM
Subject: Re: August PostCard Poetry Fest-update?

Hi Lana & Paul,

I'm having a blast writing postcards, and have sent out a dozen. I have, however, only received 4 (thanks, Paul, for yours from Chief Joseph's grave, which in turn inspired the next two I sent). This might be the case for others as well, and I wonder if a reminder on the protocol--send one even if you didn't receive one--might be in order at this point.

I'm documenting all sent & received poems with my digital camera, and that is an interesting process in itself. Thanks again for getting this idea airborne, you two.

all best,

Jenifer Lawrence


Glad you are having fun. I am too. I have sent your reminder to the whole list, so folks will know to keep the line moving.

Also see the blog at http:/poetrypostcards.blogspot.com and join our group on facebook: http://www.facebook.com though some call it Crackbook!

We appreciate everyone's participation.


Paul E. Nelson, M.A.

Global Voices Radio
American Sentences
Organic Poetry
Poetry Postcard Blog

Slaughter, WA

----- Original Message -----
From: Lana Hechtman Ayers
To: Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:36 AM
Subject: August PostCard Poetry Fest--Updated Mailing List--Time to Begin

Saturday, August 11, 2007

August 11 Update

We're about a third of the way through August and the initial August Poetry Postcard Fest. I've received 31 cards so far, and I have yet to check today's mail. Brendan McBreen sent a wonderful card which arrived yesterday and I have been tickled by how well this ting is going and how much people love it.

We have a http://www.Facebook.com group going and an interesting comment stream there. Gregory Severance said:

(New York, NY) at 10:48am on August 3rd, 2007

I thought of listing "consciousness" on my profile after reading some in an old paperback edition of P.D. Ouspensky's ~The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution~ which I ran across recently in my favorite neighborhood cafe. Probing the mystery of noticing the moment.

When I saw the announcement for the postcard poetry fest I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it. I'm finding the daily practice aspect especially rewarding. Addressing an audience of one who is looking forward to receiving and reading my poem invigorates my writing.

The project is bringing to mind a couple of works: ~Postcards on Parade~ by Kenward Elmslie which I saw him perform at St. Mark's Poetry Project about ten years ago and ~The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond~ by Derrida which I haven't read.

I plan on looking at your Organic Poetry essays more closely.


and Kim Clark in Nanaimo:

at 2:04pm on August 3rd, 2007
The audience of one (previously unknown but not anonymous) does shift the writing. And in fact, on already looking back on first poems, the name, the gender, the location by association affects the resulting poem. I'm finding another tilt to this as names become faces. Has anyone noticed this? Face up. Conscious.

There have been others, but I'll stop at Brent Allard:

Manchester, N.H. wrote
at 8:45pm on August 5th, 2007

This is a wonderful experiment. I love the idea of all the individual poems crossing each other in the mail, establishing connections with fellow poets who would otherwise never meet. And, imagine how the mailmen must be enjoying this. Finding the beautiful poems in my mailbox daily is a positively spiritual experience. Finding the discipline to write one daily distilled to postcard size has also been quite enriching.

Thank you to all involved. It's great to be a part of this.

Being on all three lists, I have sent out 39 cards so far and have documented every one with camera and laptop. I am trying to figure out how to continue this effort past August and not limit lists to 31 people next year. How can we make this more of a global experiment in poetry and community?

I have taken to writing some cards from different spots in the NW. Three were written from the grave of Chief Joseph and three from the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle last night. This is the last card I sent out:

to Cindy Lamb (Woodfrogs @ Sunset)


Dear Cindy –

It’s 8:11 and the sun sets and might
burn a hole in that tree before
cannonballing into Elliott Bay and like
frogs poets live in two worlds: one
where reality is solid and nothing what
can’t be touched tasted smelled seen heard;
one behind it sensed as if someone staring
at you, boring a hole
in your spirit not unlike
August and one
more setting

Blessings –
Paul Nelson