Editor’s Intro: POSTCARD POEMS
There used to be more of this out there. On the dispatch and receiving ends. I used to do a lot of it myself. Receive a lot of it from writer friends. Poems on postcards. Throwing caution to the winds. (I think I did a piece on this idea for a major newspaper one time. Can’t remember where or when. Can’t remember anything these days.) Words on wind. Free. No privacy. Hands, machines touching it countless times before it arrives (if it arrives) at its destination. No other copy of the work in existence except the one finally arriving in a friend’s hands. A smile. A nod. A good feeling. Most likely keep this baby close. As beat-up and badly treated…torn, smudged or worse as this word-journey was. Fix it for good on the coop wall near my desk for safe keeping, chronic joy, remembrance…lending momentary, transportable art a certain permanence.
I used to do spur-of-the-moment paintings on postcards too. Mail Art. Whatever became of that? I remember general invitations, specific requests “Please send…” and so sending watercolors to South America, Canada, Spain…all over the U.S. Sometimes a thank you, an honor. But mostly silence. A writer’s best friend.
All gone, I guess. Like everything else fast disappearing into the new high tech social network of now, where the journey is instant, though not quite the same. Which I am certainly guilty of? this very instant. Not that I don’t miss (and still use) yellow pencils, crow quills, fountain pens (jet black ink), sable brushes, good paper, tubes of water colors, rubber stamps, postage stamps. I did a book once called PAINT ME A PICTURE MAKE ME A POEM. I still like the rhythm and feeling of that refrain. Patchen inspired that. Henry Miller too.
This is just to say I received a message in the real mail from poet/friend Jeff Winke recently…the memory (all the memories) are still with me. And the postcard’s on the wall. Haikus happen…hmmm… — Norbert Blei
The long strides of time