Alex Gildzen


a collection of lists

mail art & conceptual pieces

Santa Fe: Toucan Press 2009



c 2009 Alex Gildzen


Alex Gildzen

“01/01/01 : print #2”


Author’s photo:

Original photo by Bill Berger (2004).

Stamp by U.S. Postal Service (2005).

Photo of stamp by Bob Barnes (2007).



section 1:





a medallion containing Grandpa Kovach’s 1878 silver dollar

a Darin Bill silver bracelet

black briefs bought in Athens in 1992 & worn to Bill Clinton’s

1993 inauguration

white button-down shirt previously ownd by Ben Basham & then Dimitri Karageorgiou

with my parents’ engagement snapshot in the pocket

khakis purchasd in Chicago in 1999 with 5 dimes in each pocket

Jay Parsell’s belt

alpine sweater brought from Switzerland by Regina Yando in 1961

cotton socks purchasd in Tricala in 1987

boots bought in Buenos Aires in 1988

Dimitri’s Turkish leather jacket with Richard Martin’s last letter in a pocket

gray wool scarf knittd by Julia Waida

Provincetown baseball cap



from Alex in Movieland :



places The Century Dimes (TCD) on floor before Marsden Hartley's

"Madawaska -- Acadian Light-Heavy" at Art Institute of Chicago


lines up TCD on imprint of Betty Grable's leg at Grauman's Chinese Theater


observes Ira Joel Haber create a cock & balls out of TCD on bar of Joe

Allen in NYC


photographs his mother handing TCD to his father in Elyria


traces TCD on an envelope which he mails to Stephen Sondheim

("Rubbings #1")


celebrates first full day of summer by submersing TCD in public tub at Ten

Thousand Waves


observes Regina Yando make a zia sign out of TCD on Turquoise Trail


observes Thomas Ashcraft stack TCD on the monetary vitrine of "Universal

Gum & Tradecake"


lines up TCD on grave of John Kennedy Toole in New Orleans


configures TCD into an arrow pointing to Allen Memorial Art Museum in



makes a circle of TCD under his plate at Pooka Longley Glidden's

Thxgiving dinner


watches third episode of "Queer as Folk" with TCD in a zigzag on top of




wraps TCD in a black armband which he wears on Inauguration Day


rolls TCD toward Melina who runs


poses with TCD for Stathis Orphanos at Chateau Marmont


creates a circle of TCD at Plan B which he steps into for his first Santa Fe



lines up TCD on curb in front of home of his parental grandparents in



buries TCD in "holy dirt" at Sanctuario de Chimayo


observes Jean-Claude van Itallie throw TCD in imitation of I Ching


observes R. B. Sprague place TCD on wheelchair symbol in a handicappd

space of a Cerrillos Rd parking lot


places TCD on ground of four states at same time


spreads TCD on conference table in Frank Lloyd Wright's office at Taliesen



stretches TCD between stars of Richard Harrison & Guy Madison on Palm

Springs Walk of Fame


positions TCD above the aurei of Marc Antony in Cleopatra exhibition at

Chicago's Field Museum



piles TCD on Bryan Ockert's forehead in front of Gipsy in Las Vegas


fondles TCD while seeing "Adventures of Felix" at Out Far in Phoenix


arranges TCD on roots of fig tree at Mission Santa Barbara


snakes TCD up arm of Gus Foster in Taos


presses TCD against James Dean's photo at Hotel Paisano in Marfa


carries TCD past White House & posits them on Pennsylvania Ave in front

of stage for Capital Pride Festival


rests TCD on section of "Arc of the Burning Forest" which Alan Sonfist will

mail to President of the United States


loans TCD to Jim Provenzano who pockets them during premiere of "PINS"

in San Francisco


hears Jacob Leed sing "That Old Black Magic" while holding TCD in



carries TCD thru Independence Hall & past Liberty Bell


rubs TCD against characters on Poetry Stone at Portland Japanese



observes Coby Leed place his cap on bridge overlooking Multnomah Falls

& arrange TCD on it



sits on TCD while hearing Mel Ulrich at Austin Lyric Opera


commemorates first anniversary of T.R. Queen's death by making a square

of TCD on the artist's tondo "Alex Gildzen, James Dean and the Vanilla



reads Frank O'Hara's "Rhapsody" to John Ericson while the actor holds



wakes in Monterey on his 60th birthday with TCD under his pillow


observes Matthew Wascovich circle TCD with incantations under a full

moon on a bridge over RTA tracks in Cleveland


makes a V of TCD on box office in front of Capitol Theater in Greeneville TN


presses TCD against glass that separates him from Flor Garduno


grasps TCD to his heart while gazing into the eyes of Grace Slick


places TCD on piano keys just playd by Peter Cincotti in lobby of La

Posada de Albuquerque


observes Thurston Moore line up TCD beneath d.a. levy's portrait at

Bowery Poetry Club


observes David Meredith scatter TCD on a catalpa stump on Palace Green

in Colonial Williamsburg


balances TCD on fingers of Brian Kamerzel on a soundstage at Greer

Garson Studios



posits TCD on edge of tortoise warren at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada


buries TCD in sand of Sebastian Beach in Fort Lauderdale


observes Bill Berger place TCD on case containing Frank Capra’s Academy Award in

Palm Springs


arranges TCD on manuscript of James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia at Kent State University



stacks TCD in his navel while lying naked on Makena Little Beach in Maui


spreads TCD on a picnic table at Elyria Park in Denver


makes a crookd line of TCD on Marginal Way in Ogunquit


puts TCD on a rock at City of Rocks


slips TCD into his shoe while facing Marilyn Monroe’s red stilettos at Bata Shoe Museum

in Toronto


raises a fistful of TCD upon John Kerry’s arrival at a campaign rally at Lorain County

Community College morning after second presidential debate


observes Tom Beckett & Steve Tills divide & fondle TCD over dinner at Ray’s in Kent


holds TCD while being photographd with John Waters in Palm Springs



lays TCD on steps on which Gianni Versace was murderd


positions TCD beside bottlecaps on Robert Rauschenberg’s “Publican –

Station VI” at Godt-Cleary Projects in Las Vegas


observes Matthew Jablonski in Elyria form a capital E from TCD


makes a circle of TCD in middle of Gate Temple at Joseph Manigault House

in Charleston


observes Todd Moore place TCD on Alex Gildzen brick in Cathedral Park


scatters TCD at base of Gateway Arch in St.Louis


hands TCD to Kent Taylor on BART under the bay


celebrates Myrna Loy’s 100th birthday by observing Jack Ramey place TCD

on her autographd portrait in A Pictorial History of the Talkies


presses TCD against a surviving wall of Murrah Federal Building in

Oklahoma City


observes Maggie Anderson arrange TCD on The Book of Java at former

Captain Brady’s in Kent


marks Thxgiving by making a T of TCD on bridge over Arroyo Chamisa


makes a necklace of TCD on neck of Kimberly Nichols



observes Jodi Perselle Warman make quotation marks from TCD on sides

of her plate at Plaza Café


makes a triangle of TCD on London Bridge at Lake Havasu


observes Alicia Metcalf Miller hold TCD in her left hand while inscribing his

copy of My Life on Mars with her right


brushes TCD against cheeks of Ignatius J. Reilly statue in New Orleans


observes Jim Cory rub TCD against cherub butts on sundial in Rittenhouse



places TCD on seat of Robert Nolan’s 1955 Ford Victoria from which he

was thrown 46 years before


makes an H (for Hitchcock) of TCD on Presidential Trail facing Mt.



places TCD under Alberto Rios’ “The Museum Heart” in a window of

Egyptian Theater in Boise


observes Richard Balthazar surround a graptoveria with TCD at his booth

at Farmers Market


checks into Beat Hotel in Desert Hot Springs where he makes a B of TCD

on William Burroughs’ desk


submerges TCD in waterfall in front of Ziff Ballet Opera House in Miami


films TCD rocking on Gertrude Duryea’s rockingchair



traces TCD to make a halo around Todd Colby on one of “85 Envelopes”


hands TCD to 10 random people at Steve Lowe’s memorial service at

Bubbling Wells Ranch in Desert Hot Springs


scatters TCD on Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach


celebrates his 64th birthday by making a pierogi shape of TCD at West Side

Market in Cleveland


places TCD on stage of the Lensic before Gary Snyder’s appearance


observes Garold Gardner circle Marta Becket’s feet with TCD at Amargosa

Opera House


observes Roberto Marquez eat pancakes on the plaza on the 4th with TCD

beside his plate


places TCD on Johnny Swing’s Nickel Couch


presses TCD against thorns of Queen of the Nite at Tucson Botanical



observes Michael McCafferty hide TCD in 5 moveable walls at Seattle Art



makes a B (for Elizabeth Short) of TCD in front of Florentine Gardens in



observes Mandad place TCD on the toes of his sculpture “Foot” in Palm




places TCD at base of sponge diver statue at Tarpon Springs


holds TCD while listening to Barack Obama at Santa Fe Community College


observes Bobb “Neoboy” Maestas arrange TCD on a chalk drawing at the

base of the monument in Santa Fe Plaza


observes Todd Hughes make a design of TCD on the cover of Gildzen’s

copy of It’s All a Movie at lunch at Tam O’Shanter


observes Sidian Morning Star Jones observe Stanley Krippner balancing

one of TCD on his nose at Aztec Café


observes Sal Kovach make a G of TCD on couch in redesignd breezeway at

429 Winckles St in Elyria


makes a Z of TCD on a rock striation at Zion National Park


presses TCD against the plaza bandstand while Buffy Sainte-Marie sings


deposits TCD at intersection of Hollywood & Vine


observes Henry Van Dyke play with TCD while drinking Spanish sherry at

Morgan Dining Room in NYC


observes Kenneth Carr position TCD at Lewis & Clark’s saltworks in

Seaside OR


inserts TCD into the lining of his James Dean tie which he wears to Zia

Diner with the dinner group



section 2:




“Mame” Townhouse pianist

‘67: Montreal

“Naughty Lola” Marlene Dietrich

‘68: Provincetown

“MacArthur Park” Richard Harris

“Stone Soul Picnic” 5th Dimension

‘69: Las Vegas

“Is That All There Is?” Peggy Lee

“Mrs. Robinson” Booker T & the MGs

‘70: Yarmouthport

“Hi Di Hi” Blood Sweat & Tears

“That’s Your Business Now” Joe Cocker

‘71: Fire Island Pines

“Theme from ‘Shaft’ “ Isaac Hayes

“Spanish Harlem” Aretha Franklin

‘72: San Francisco

“Alone Again (Naturally)” Gilbert O’Sullivan

“The Backstabbers” The O’Jays


running from the Blind Owl

to campus in a snowstorm

sitting across from me at dinner

on the day of John F. Kennedy’s funeral

leaning over me at the Stag saying

“I’ll break this fucking bottle over your head”

listening to Orff with her mother & Regina

at Stanley Krippner’s Main St. apartment

sipping morning glory tea

in my garret on South Willow St.

playing Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Los Pescadores”

upon returning from Mexico with tequila for me

walking down the aisle

of the small chapel

6 mar 1972:Kent




for Mary Ann Begland

azurite blue

berlin blue

cerulean blue

cobalt blue

federalist blue

manganese blue

paris blue

phthalocyanine blue

prussian blue

ultramarine blue

1976:Twin Lakes




H.D.’s “Sagesse”

Frank O’Hara’s “For Bob Rauschenberg”

Robert Kelly’s “Smith Cove Meditation”

Gerard Malanga’s “white pages”

Richard Howard’s “A Montifiore Memorandum”

Jonathan Williams’ “Excavations from the case-histories of Havelock Ellis”

Don Coles’ “Up on the Mountain”

Simon Cutts’ “Quelques Piano”

Kenneth Irby’s “Near Equinox”

David St. John’s “The Orange Piano”

James Merrill’s “An Upset”

begun 1976





Helen Adam

Dan Adkins

Lawrence Alloway

Michael Bennett

Bernard Benstock

MacKnight Black

Ray Bradbury

Richard Brautigan


William Bronk

Michael Caine

Al Carmines

Joseph Chaikin

Joseph Cornell

Hart Crane

Edward Dahlberg

Guy Davenport

John Dorsey

Robert Duncan

Tom Driberg

David Ehrenstein

Theodore Enslin

Peter Finch

Ian Hamilton Finley

Dan Flavin

John Fowles

John Gielgud

Jack Gilbert

Mike Gildzen

Madeline Gleason

Alfred Starr Hamilton

Richard Harris

Grace Hartigan


Alfred Hitchcock

John Huston

Pauline Kael

Franz Kline

T. L. Kryss

Karyn Kupcinet

Akira Kurasawa

Patti LaBelle

Louis L’Amour

Denise Levertov

d.a. levy

Beverly Linet

David Meltzer

Ann Miller

Yukio Mishima

Robert Moses

Lorine Niedecker

Joel Oppenheimer

Kenneth Patchen

Johnnie Ray

Charles Reznikoff

Ned Rorem

David St. Clair

Jerry Silverman

Sidney Skolsky

Robert Smithson

Twyla Tharp

David Warner

Evelyn Waugh

John Wieners

Edmund Wilson

Louis Zukofsky

begun 1976




to dismount

remove parts in following order

crane-lock screw

crane lock



stock screw


side-plate screw

side plate


rebound-lever pin

rebound lever




cylinder-bolt screw

cylinder bolt

cylinder-bolt spring

latch pin

safety lever


to assemble

reverse above order





twelve sailors all in blue

half a dozen curious chauffeurs

the Chinese doctor

broke into their ballades

their molecules shuttled to and fro

smelling in the dark for the blood

floods of blood

the truck driver sings

of gingersnaps

a red nylon posing strap

a piece of fabric from a silk umbrella

the celluloid rustling of insects

100's of love letters

piano keys wrinkle

navigating us safely to our beds


the lines of this poem were borrowd from the following novels

(in order of appearance)


The Great Gatsby


Ladies of the Rachmaninoff Eyes


Moby Dick

Mrs. Dalloway

The Grapes of Wrath

The Day of the Locust

The Exquisite Corpse

Confederacy of Dunces

The Asiatics

Tha Black Dahlia


Nocturnes for the King of Naples

feb 2003:SF




Section 3:




(in april 1977 I wrote poems on postcards & maild them to people.

the next year Tom Beckett producd them as the 12th publication

of his Viscerally Press. the poems appeard on one side of a sheet

the size of a postcard. on the verso was the date & person to whom

it was originally maild. the set was put into 3.5 x 6.5 envelopes.)


the working back into



sent 1 apr 77

to Michael Milligan

Mogadore OH




kiss the wet hair of spring

sent 2 apr 77

to Bette Davis

Westport CT



the scrivening of a spider

wakes the weary cartographer

“morning must be mounted

if the web is to hold night

in its skein of glisten”

sent 3 apr 77

to Howard P. Vincent

Kent OH




creeping wordsward

each crawl a crack in the clock

sent 4 apr 77

to Djuna Barnes

New York NY




peccant as a peach in whose center

an indulgence of pain to match

the scratch of certain mollusks

I scribble on open envelopes

sent 5 apr 77

to Michael Moriarty

New York NY




nations scuffle

dividing up disapproval

use diplomatic jargon

to end harpoon rebuff

the copperbelt invasion

exports negotiating cards

sent 6 apr 77

to Ira Joel Haber

New York NY




to darn the diapause

needles of nerve

yarn of yamvine

sent 7 apr 77

to Vivian Pemberton

Bristolville OH




taken as desideratum


fill with honey


sent 8 apr 77

to Gerald Vukas

Los Angeles CA




in the locutory of the lazaretto

babble abounds so the sound

of the arrow winging to its mark

finds no ear in the heart

sent 9 apr 77

to Lily Tomlin

New York NY




onions ring the gardener

tulips perch in his hair

cats chase rabbits or rats

eggs roll down the stair

sent 10 apr 77

to Amy Ma

Kent OH





sway of one gabardine valance

curvature of the sedate persimmon

flounce of an ill barracuda

sent 11 apr 77

to John Ashbery

New York NY





chilled breast of chicken

frosted grapes maybe chablis

& a night letter to the ocean

to cure this sultry suffocation

sent 12 apr 77

to Thomas Meyer

Highlands NC





bag of aggies

spinal space

to inhabit against snakes

jig place

when wounds cripple

a little

like the mind

sent 13 apr 77

to Tennessee Williams

Key West FL




consdier the carnosity of nympholeptic snails

how their love lurches them across macadam

sent 14 apr 77

to Robert Mapplethorpe

New York NY




when the beak of the law

snaffles the malady of bondage

claws fall off the cactus

shackles out of the clouds

sent 15 apr 77

to Gwendolyn Brooks

Chicago IL




shadows stammer regrets

sent 16 apr 77

to Richard Chamberlain

Beverly Hills CA






the security of dreams

dissipates on swandown

sent 17 apr 77

to Paul Metcalf

Chester MA




the low bird sings

to the smug bitch in denim

“heaven’s in a drum

swallowed by a tiger”

sent 18 apr 77

to W. S. DiPiero

Baton Rogue LA




at the terminus

a thunder in the ribs

to cause the earth to rip

sent 19 apr 77

to James Merrill

Stonington CT




the tree on the boy’s willoware plate

wilted under the liver

the gravy grew stagnant

in the pond of mashed potatoes

sent 20 arp 77

to Robert Jay Lifton

New York NY




what quiet comfort comes

when pages sponge words

sent 21 apr 77

to James Robert Parish

New York NY




memory jogtrots thru the blood

till a pinch of ginger jangles

then the corridors of the past

spill into a ballroom of pocked parquet

sent 22 apr 77

to Mary Ann Begland

Lexington KY




when infelicity of boredom breaks my habitude

hit me with fists of pomegranate

sent 23 apr 77

to Joseph Chaikin

New York NY




trust only the rain

(except on Mondays)

sent 24 apr 77

to David W. Meredith

East Liverpool OH




hemispheres of syllables


in the mouth

of a gorgon

to gift

the empty bowl

with song

sent 25 apr 77

to Al Pacino

New York NY




sleep’s muzzy head

snuggles the muggers

in their maze of doors

sent 26 apr 77

to Jay Parsell

Beverly Hills CA





paled by frost

looks square into

the healing eyeball of the sun

sent 27 apr 77

to Henry Van Dyke

New York NY





cups of lilac white

wipe the frost

from my skull

sent 28 apr 77

to Regina Yando

Boston MA




blossoms know

the necessity of erasure

for more

to be drawn

sent 29 apr 77

to Peter Burnell

New York NY




& hope is a cat

always waiting at

the window for



sent 30 apr 77

to Donald Patrick Javor

Kent OH






or The Shirt Off My Back

(in Gildzen at 50 there is a 1972 photo of me in the library with Dean Keller.

I’m wearing a favorite shirt of the time a flower-patternd “hippie” shirt

which the year before historian Henry Steele Commager had complimentd.

at the beginning of 1978 I cut up the shirt to use in a series of Valentines.)

1. The Invention of Tomorrow sent to T. R. Queen

2. “Up to Luper’s Altar” sent to Thomas Meyer

3. From the Heartland sent to David W. Meredith

4. The Heart is a Fond Rememberer sent to C.

5. Guide to the Heart’s Ruins sent to Ira Joel Haber

6. At the Heart of the Rose sent to Jean-Claude van Itallie

7. “Bananas are nothing but naughty things” sent to Michael Pierce

8. Spectacle of the Heart sent to J. S. B.

9. Lana Sleeps in the Heart of February sent to Ned Rorem

10.The Heart Takes Wing sent to Clay Chancellor

11.Fragmentary Anecdote Concerning Thelma Ritter sent to James

Broughton & Joel Singer

12.The Dreamer Perceivd by the Dream sent to Gerald Vukas

13. How like a friend the heart sent to Jay Parsell

14.“Cordially – May Allison” sent to Connie May

15.The Last Valentine sent to Phillip R. Hales

jan-feb 1978:Twin Lakes




as afternoon began I sat eating a shrimp & crab cake at Cafe Del Mar & got

the idea for ”Today at the Library” writing the initial entry in my head.

then I walkd to the Coronado post office to mail birthday greetings to R.B.

Kitaj. there I purchasd 3 sheets of the Tennesee Williams commemorative

stamp. as I walkd back to Brother Abdon Way another idea: preparing 10

envelopes on which to affix the stamp to mail to 10 friends in memory of

my favorite playwright. each envelope celebrates a Williams play with a

quotation & watercolor.

1 “The Glass Menagerie”

sent to T.R. QUEEN who read Jim O’Connor opposite my Tom

Wingfield at my boyhood home in Elyria in the summer of 1961

2 “A Streetcar Named Desire”

sent to JOHN ERICSON who playd Stanley Kowalski opposite the

Blanche DuBois of Vivian Blaine at Kenley Players

3 “Camino Real”

sent to ROBERT NOTT who was to review a recent local production

as his final piece for The New Mexican until a family emergency took him

out of town allowing me to review it

4 “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”

sent to DIMITRI KARAGEORGIOU who sat next to me (& not far from

Carol Channing) at the 1990 revival featuring Kathleen Turner as Maggie

5 “Orpheus Descending”

sent to CYNTHIA MAYER PRAMUK who during our undergraduate

years at Kent State University often spoke the lines of Carol Cutrere from


6 “Suddenly Last Summer”

sent to the composer of the music for the original production NED

ROREM who reveals in his diary that Williams thought of changing the title

to “Music in the 12 Tone Scale”

7 “Sweet Bird of Youth”

sent to ROBERT LEWIS whose original Williams playscripts I

brought to Kent State University Libraries where so many of Hart Crane’s

papers reside

8 “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore”

sent to JEAN-CLAUDE VAN ITALLIE who once agreed with me that

Williams is America’s greatest playwright ever

9 “Night of the Iguana”

sent to IRA JOEL HABER who sat next to me at the 1976 revival

featuring Richard Chamberlain as Shannon (with Martin Rabbett listd as an


10 “Something Cloudy, Something Clear”

sent to DAVID W. MEREDITH who has heard the lines of Williams

from the stage of Provincetown Playhouse & who has seen his ghost sit by

the fire at the A-House bar

24 oct 95:Santa Fe
















front cover:

(an original collage. here is the one sent to David W. Meredith.)



inside left:

“This morning come up to my wife’s bedside, I being up dressing myself,

little Will Mercer to be her Valentine; and brought her name writ upon blue

paper in gold letters, done by himself, very pretty; and we were both well

pleased with it.”

Samuel Pepys

14 feb 1667


inside right:



in memory of Will Mercer


sends Valentines to Jean Bothwell & Herbert S. Zim Lois Lenski & Robert



sends carbon copy of his newest short story to Roberta Elzey as her

Valentine present


receives Valentine from Marie Windsor


cuts up a favorite shirt to use in 15 Valentine collages


dedicates Skins to Thomas Meyer who was born on Valentine’s Day as a

gift for his 30th birthday


brunches on Valentine’s Day at Ira Joel Haber’s with Scott Baldinger & Tom



mails Valentines made of circles cut from a pair of his pants


receives L’Homme in a bag featuring Judy Garland’s feet in the ruby red

slippers as a Valentine from Dimitri


receives Valentine’s Day call from Sheila Smith

back cover: blank

(maild in an envelope using the Marilyn Monroe stamp.)

feb 1997:SF


a postcard series


petals from the daisy I placd between my toes for the photo of my feet

made for Christian Laporte

sent to John Held Jr. 26 feb 99


hair from 3 parts of my body

sent to Thomas Meyer 4 mar 99


3 a’s from today’s New Mexican

sent to Bill Berger 6 mar 99


Richard Martin’s signature clippd from an envelope

sent to Nancy Holt 9 mar 99


an empty sugar packet from The Brown Palace

sent to Ken B. Miller 15 mar 00


earth from Dad’s garden

sent to Ira Joel Haber 24 mar 99


a snippet of red underwear

sent to Rupert Everett 5 apr 99


tree pollen from St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery

sent to James Broughton 24 apr 99


wasp wing

sent to Gregg Hartnett 10 may 99


fortune from a Chinese cookie

sent to Mary Ann Begland 24 may 99


lint from blue sheets

sent to R.B. Sprague 26 jun 99


Comedie-Francais sticker brought back by Nancy Jane Cope

sent to Joseph Chaikin 23 aug 99








for Robert Rauschenberg

#1 mango

sent to Ken B. Miller 12 apr

#2 coffee

sent to ruth weiss 14 apr

#3 strawberry

sent to Henry Van Dyke 3 may

#4 tea

sent to Eric Bentley 17 may

#5 orange

sent to Rebecca Lundstrom 18 may

#6 blood

sent to Todd Moore 1 jun

#7 algae

sent to David W. Meredith 9 jun



one rainy sunday afternoon in Santa Fe I found a flower pressd in a book. I

knew I’d savd that blossom for a reason & that that pressd flower wasn’t

alone. I began to hunt for more of the hidden garden. knowing that when

I’m gone such keepsakes will be tossd I decid’d to plant them together so

that I cd share the happiness they brought me with a few of the people abt

whom I care. I crumbld the preservd memories into an antique coffee can

(Guthrie’s Elite Blend from Elyria) given me by my parents. being both

archivist & listmaker I wrote down their origins.

here then dear friend is a part of the life I so much enjoy living a

potpourri from the past to brighten yr future.

one white rose petal from the bridal bouquet of Helen Stevenson Meyner


a lily-of-the-valley worn by Jean-Claude van Itallie to the premiere of his

adaptation of “Medea” (1979)

blossom of the nite-blooming cereus Dimitri Karageorgiou came to see on

his first visit (1986)

a baby lemon & its twig from the tree my parents gave me (1988)

a chocolate lily gatherd at Denali National Park (1989)

red geranium petals pickd at the grave of Yannis Ritsos in Monemvasia


an anonymous grass from the ground of La Posada de Santa Fe (1993)

blue hosta blossoms from the backyard of 1129 Morris rd in Kent (1994)

eucalyptus from Mother to keep the car smelling fresh on the drive to New

Mexico (1994)

a succulent transplantd from Bodega Bay (1994)

to remind me of the two best seasons of my boyhood: magnolia blossoms

from the tree in my parents’ front yard & a crimson maple leaf pickd during

a walk in Elyria (1995)

a red rose from Dimitri (1996)

a sprig from Nancy & Paul Metcalf’s mint bed (1997)

a spray of duranta repens pluckd poolside at Chateau Marmont on the 20th

anniversary of my first stay (1997)

day lilies sent by Karen & John Ericson to Dimitri before he left for the

monastery (1998)

yellow mums pickd in Provincetown (1998)

[Note: this was printd out & sent along with sachets containing a mixture of

the above to 18 friends in feb 1999].





19 feb:SF

this morning I took down from the front of the fridge a portrait of Joan

Blondell from a 1937 Picturegoer which Ira Joel Haber sent me & replacd it

with a 1998 portrait of Jonathan Rhys Meyers from the pages of Jane. in the

process I got the idea to use the discards for a series of envelope collages.

1. Joan Blondell sent to Ruud Janssen 26 feb

2. Jonathan Rhys Meyers sent to Rex Booth 26 feb

3. Carmen Miranda sent to Bernique Longley 27 feb

4. Evelyn Nesbit sent to Sebastian Boyd Grim 11 mar

5. Samuel M. Steward sent to Soren Phillip 13 mar

6. Gloria Grahame sent to Antonio Torres 15 mar

7. Antonio Banderas sent to P. Craig Russell 20 mar

8. Marianne Moore sent to Maggie Anderson 2 apr

9. Kurt Schwitters sent to Mark Bloch 5 apr

10. Thomas Lloyd sent to Jim Provenzano 12 apr

11. Christina Ricci sent to Guy Ambrosino 14 apr

12. Chavela Vargas sent to Cynthia Mayer Pramuk 18 may

13. Casper Van Dien sent to T. R. Queen 20 may

14. Richard Harrison sent to Michael Linder 25 may

15. Helen Morgan sent to Martha Braun 27 may

16. Ricky Martin sent to Richard Martin 2 jun

17. Brendan Fraser sent to Jonathan Williams 7 jun

18. Piper Laurie sent to Michael Brittain 8 jun

19. Rufus Wainwright sent to Jean-Claude van Itallie 11 jun

20. Kristen Chenoweth sent to Arthur Yanoff 16 jun

21. Pete Duel sent to James Robert Parish 6 jul

22. Buddy Holly sent to Ned Sublette 9 aug

23. Alfred Hitchcock sent to Roberto Marquez 30 aug

24. Armistead Maupin sent to Mark Jamison 24 sep

25. Carter Burwell sent to Alfred Cavaretta 12 oct

26. Alexander von Humboldt sent to Jesse Wood 14 oct

27. Esther Williams sent to Regina Yando 30 oct

28. David Hockney sent to Linda Lyke 1 nov

29. Stephen Sondheim sent to Stanley Krippner 12 nov

30. Ramon Novarro sent to Tom Shales 16 nov

31. Robert Altman sent to Tom Beckett 20 nov

32. Bill Viola sent to Coby Leed 30 nov

33. Louis Falco sent to Joel Singer 4 dec

34. Marie Windsor sent to Richard Myers 9 dec

35. Pedro Almodovar sent to Howard Erlichman 12 dec

36. Margaret Hamilton sent to Alicia Metcalf Miller 20 dec

37. Andy Warhol sent to Helen & Al Gildzen 31 dec







1 touch silver billows

2 retinas swell with lust

3 whose men draw bows

4 drool on boscage

5 in cinema truck erotism

6 papaya juice dripping from kalongs

7 increase jockstrap militancy

8 crocodile on dialysis

9 shouting forks

10 on slivers of pillows

11 cajole me with pistachios

12 roosters of discord

13 radical radio habituation

14 concordance of vichyssoise

15 under monazite

16 discobolus gossip

17 whose cage shatters

18 bok choy on a windowsill

19 retaining last smell

20 emergency to teach


Cinerama ticket stub Cleveland: 18 may 57

half to Ira Joel Haber New York NY

half to Stathis Orphanos Hollywood CA

Diary of Anne Frank theater ticket Elyria: apr 61

half to Roberta Berke London England

half to Martha Braun Shelburne Falls MA

Royal Court Theatre ticket stub London: 5 oct 73

half to Alice Ripley New York NY

half to Sheila Smith New York NY

TEE train ticket Rome/Florence: 23 dec 83

half to Linda Lyke Eagle Rock CA

half to Roberto Marquez Weehawken NJ

Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra ticket Budapest: 20 may 85

half to John Grimes Newtonville MA

half to David W. Meredith Kent OH

World Figure Skating Championships ticket Cincinnati: 9 mar 87

half to Ruud Janssen Tilburg Netherlands

half to Mimmo Lavacca Monopoli Italy

Pan Am boarding pass Madrid/New York: 6 mar 89

half to Maggie Anderson Kent OH

half to Gwendolyn Brooks Chicago IL

Son of Heaven exhibition ticket Columbus: 19 aug 89

half to Dave Hickey Reno NV

half to Lucy Lippard Galisteo NM

Indians/Red Sox ticket Cleveland: 3 jun 90

half to Stanley Crawford Dixon NM

half to Mark Harris Tempe AZ

Epidaurus entrance ticket Greece: jun 92

half to Jerome Lawrence Malibu CA

half to Jean-Claude van Itallie Rowe MA

Inauguration Day metro pass Washington DC: 20 jan 93

half to Sal Kovach Lorain OH

half to G.J. Smullen Waupun WI

Tina Turner concert ticket Northampton Township: 1 jul 93

half to Nancy Harman Blackford Metcalf Chester MA

half to Cynthia Mayer Pramuk San Carlos CA

Luxor Hotel’s Nile boat trip ticket Las Vegas: 14 feb 95

half to Algesa & Joseph O’Sickey Twin Lakes OH

half to Thomas Meyer & Jonathan Williams Highlands NC

Santa Fe Trails monthly bus pass jun 97

half to Guy Ambrosino Santa Fe NM

half to Jim Provenzano San Francisco CA

Ten Thousand Waves public tub pass Santa Fe: apr-may 00

half to Bob Barnes Fort Worth TX

half to Richard Harrison Palm Springs CA


word: recipient: occasion: date:

azoth Ilona Klein dinner 3 may 00

burgoo Sidney Coates party 2 jun 00

clinquant Jesse Wood private preview 1 aug 00

divagation Alicia Metcalf Miller party 14 dec 00

embouchure Robert Nott birthday 30 dec 00

febrifuge Cookie Jordan housewarming 8 may 01

glebe Guy & Kate garden party 17 jun 01

hexenbesen R. B. Sprague birthday 12 sept 01

indult Craig Eadie first meeting 20 nov 01

jactitation Bill Berger house gift 13 mar 02

khamsin Alfred Cavaretta party 17 may 02

limbate Dan Bernard house gift 10 aug 02

machicolation Garold Gardner Thxgiving 28 nov 02

nelumbo Bryan Ockert house gift 17 jan 03

octamerism Pooka Glidden party 12 sept 03

puncheon David W. Meredith Thxgiving 27 nov 03

quercine Rita Wood Xmas 25 dec 03

ravelin Gary Sielaff housewarming 4 jan 04

shalloon Regina Yando house gift 8 jul 04

tufaceous Kimberly Nichols first meeting 9 dec 04

ubiety Todd Moore reading 10 may 05

vang Phil Andrews New Year’s Eve 31 dec 05

wappenschaw Darryl Grimm housewarming 12 feb 06

xebec Jim Cory first meeting 17 may 06

yashmak Richard Balthazar Thxgiving 23 nov 06

zedoary Monica Meehan first meeting 23 jan 07


1 The Century Dimes to Stephen Sondheim 13 may 00

2 Grandpa Kovach’s spectacles to Robert Nott 16 may 00

3 Blue Hole medallion to Rena Rosequist 18 may 00

4 Grandpa Gildzen’s radio to Nancy Jane Cope 23 may 00

5 Ninth Circle token to David Banky 27 may 00

6 sandal bought in Provincetown to Steve Sless 30 may 00

7 Howdy Doody face on jelly jar from Paul Metcalf

to Pooka Longley Glidden 2 jun 00

8 3 keys from my Smith-Corona to Ricardo Legorreta 5 jun 00

9 ceramic tile brought from Denmark by Maggie Anderson

to Harmony Hammond 9 jun 00

10 zipper on pants formerly ownd by R.B. Sprague

to Jim Szakacs 15 jun 00

11 toucan letter opener from Rio de Janiero to Sean Patrick

Williams 19 jun 00

12 lid from antique jar I use for sun tea to Arte Magazine

21 jun 00

13 chiga board from Mary Yando to Charmaine Szanyi Hrusch

26 jun 00

14 bottle opener from Gus’ Party Center in East Liverpool OH

to Paul Ludick 3 jul 00

15 Dimitri’s Alaskan hematite bolo to Marcia Stamell 11 jul 00

16 fireplace screen to Lilian & Brinsley Tyrrell 24 july 00

17 Dad’s hand saw to Thomas Ashcraft 4 aug 00

18 potato peeler from Coburn Britton to Mike Dubson 14 aug 00

19 Richard Dix & Lois Wilson silver spoons to Robert Altman

19 aug 00








wrapper from a candy taken from Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled (Portrait

of Ross in LA)"

bamboo leaves pickd poolside at Chateau Marmont

violets pickd in my parents' front yard in Elyria on my 57th birthday











Galanos black bikini briefs


Alex Gildzen


purchasd in Greece in june 1992

worn at Bill Clinton’s 1st inauguration

worn as 1999 became 2000

used in “01/01/01 : print #2”

last worn 25 sept 2000 while seeing Clinton for the final time as president

Jockey pink boxer briefs


D. K.


left with other personal items in feb 1998 when he went to a monastery

Old Navy patternd boxers




discoverd in a rippd condition at site of Robert Smithson’s “Partially Buried

Woodshed” on Kent State University campus in may 2002

South Park boxers


Jimmy Schrader


worn as he cleand rooms at Sunburst Inn in Phoenix

removd & given to Gildzen in feb 2003

worn by Gildzen while writing “this constant fingering” on his blog in nov


Hanes gray button-fly boxers


Gary Sielaff


left in Gildzen’s guest bathroom in aug 2004

Gap Khaki boxers




discovered outside Gildzen’s bedroom window in Cottage L at San Vicente

Inn in West Hollywood in sept 2004

used in “Bridge Over Arroyo #4” in nov 2004

Fruit of the Loom gray boxers




discovered in Gildzen’s locker at his Santa Fe gym in dec 2005

Soccer-pattern flannel boxers


John (time share salesman in Palm Springs)


given to Gildzen at Inn Exile in feb 2007

Black mesh button-fly boxer briefs


Montgomery Maxton


“bought at target in cincinnati, worn many times in manhattan hotel rooms,

but never worn on my heart”

sent to Gildzen as a Xmas gift in dec 2007

Fruit of the Loom black boxer briefs




found in men’s locker room at Grand Chateau in Las Vegas in july 2008

16 Envelopes

maild 26 oct 00 from Santa Fe's Coronado post office


1) Marianne De Pury

2) Will Holub

3) Dean H. Keller

4) R.B. Kitaj

5) Mary & Jake Leed

6) Michael McCafferty

7) Todd Moore

8) Robert Peters

9) T.R. Queen

10) P. Craig Russell

11) Ron Schreiber

12) Tom Shales

13) Lara Tambacopoulou

14) Tony Trigilio

15) Thrity Umrigar

16) Story Waters


business card:

1) Cinemabilia

2) Erwin Peter J Hair Styling Shop

3) James M. Farquharson Silver Screen Productions

4) Lee Graham

5) James W. Grauerholz William Burroughs Communications

6) Eddie Leal

7) Mabou Mines

8) Jack Matthews Hock-Hocking Rare Books

9) Once Upon a Tart

10) Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary

11) Gary Plum The Framing Company

12) Jack Ramey The Royalton

13) Sacks Cafe

14) Father Guido Sarducci

15) Chris Steinbrunner RKO General Television

16) Maxine Thomas

name of a movie star picturd on page 45 of Daniel Blum's Screen World:

1) 1949 John Garfield

2) 1951 Luther Adler

3) 1952 Philip Carey

4) 1953 Jose Ferrer

5) 1954 Charles Laughton

6) 1955 Judy Holliday

7) 1956 Richard Todd

8) 1957 Bing Crosby

9) 1958 Carolyn Jones

10) 1959 Leslie Caron

11) 1960 Richard Harrison

12) 1961 James Shigeta

13) 1962 Elvis Presley

14) 1963 Bob Hope

15) 1964 Ann-Margret

16) 1965 Vincent Price


1) The Rusty Nail Twin Lakes

2) Ciro & Sal's Provincetown

3) Ted Hook's Backstage NYC

4) Chateau Marmont Hollywood

5) John's Grill San Francisco

6) Flicks San Diego

7) Ovens of Brittany Madison

8) Hilton Budapest

9) Hotel Othon Rio de Janiero

10) La Cuineta Barcelona

11) Beryl's Sweet Shop Kodiak

12) Tale of India London

13) Santorini Restaurant Chicago

14) Rio Suite Hotel Las Vegas

15) Hotel Grande Bretaigne Athens

16) The Old Cunucu House Aruba

personal canceld check:

1) to Jean-Claude van Itallie 12 jul 68

2) to P. David Faust 15 jul 69

3) to Howard P. Vincent 20 oct 69

4) to Katie Condron 12 jan 70

5) to Gypsy Frog Records 31 jan 73 endorsd by Chris Robison

6) to Jeanne Youngson 7 aug 73

7) to Eden House 7 sept 73

8) to James Robert Parish 30 nov 76

9) to Kent Acting & Touring Company 30 nov 77 endorsd by David Prittie

10) to Tom Beckett 17 mar 78

11) to National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences 12 feb 80

12) to Thomas J. McMenamin 17 mar 83

13) to Asphodel Book Shop 14 jun 83 endorsd by James R. Lowell

14) to North Atlantic Books 17 dec 85

15) to Dimitris Karageorgiou 17 nov 86

16) to Nathan Sacco 6 jul 89

obituary maild to me from Elyria by my mother:

1) Ethelreda Leopold

2) William Gildzen

3) Margaret Mahaffey

4) Max Showalter

5) Jose Angel Valente

6) Walter Matthau

7) Alec Guinness

8) James E. Magner Jr.

9) Sophie Hause

10) Lucille Fletcher

11) Rose Hobart

12) Joan Marsh

13) Beah Richards

14) Joseph H. Lewis

15) Richard Farnsworth

16) Gwen Verdon











on 28 feb 01

I rec’d in the mail

from my mother

a sheet of American Illustrators stamps

on the following ayem

I affixd these 20 stamps

& a chocolate thumbprint

to envelopes

here is who got which:

James Montgomery Flagg Algesa & Joseph O’Sickey

Maxfield Parrish T. R. Queen

J. C. Leyendecker Jim Provenzano

Robert Fawcett Dean H. Keller

Coles Phillips Bryan Ockert

Al Parker Ken B. Miller

A. B. Frost Jeff Wietor

Howard Pyle P. Craig Russell

Rose O’Neill Rex Booth

Dean Cornwell David W. Meredith

Edwin Ausrtin Abbey Arthur Yanoff

Jessie Willcox Smith Alice Kitselman

Neysa McMein Mary Ann Begland

Jon Whitcomb Margo Rivera-Weiss

Harvey Dunn Matt Ferranto

Frederic Remington Bob Barnes

Rockwell Kent Harry Kamens

N. C. Wyeth Ken Muenzenmayer

Norman Rockwell John M. Bennett

John Held Jr. Ralph Alster


(I maild packets of spice to the following

& askd them to let me know what they did with it.)

curry powder

sent to Tony Trigilio in Chicago IL

“Two pinches of the spice were sprinkled on a stir fry: basmati rice;

broccoli; Pennsylvania mushrooms; red and green peppers; and extra-firm

tofu. We didn't use the entire spice package (probably part of the

reason I didn't get back to you, thinking I'd be using more).

And onions, too, in the stir fry.”

dill weed (from Dimitris Karageorgiou)

sent to Suellen Sweany Adams in Snohomish WA

“Interviewed every person I came into contact with on how they used dill.

When pressured to name 3 interesting ways to use it the second way was

better than the first and the third way was always infinitely more interesting

that the other two. hmmmm started building data .

Then I researched it in cookbooks in the library, my own collection and in

the bookstore and on the web. found tons of course, history, uses,

opinions of health applications, etc.

Slowly my file was growing

Then I went to farmer's markets and bought whole bouquets of it and hung

them in my kitchen to remind me, by aroma and visual beauty, to think

about dill. Each farmer's market I went to gave me a new experience as I

chatted with strangers around me about how they used it (taking notes) I

even overheard someone who couldn't afford a whole bunch so I offered to

split one and she was very happy.

Wanted to paint canvases of it with the theme, got out the paints and

canvas and ran out of time when our acres of gardens called to us this


bought a neat picture of dill at an antique store and hung it in bedroom

Started putting dill in dishes even unreasonable ones just to see if I could

discover a coup.

Carried it in my purse and car and and and and drove my friends nuts

tapping into ideas from them

I dare to say this was definitely the immersion program of a manic person

who is manic even when depressed! ha

now you know why I may never get my bio written since I am always

jumping into the deep end of ideas and never recover other than to jump

into the next pool

while always promising to return to the jammed pools of the past and

future inviting pools filled with beautiful beguiling sirens

If I live to 120 I won't be happy with what I haven't gotten done yet.

I DO have my favorite thing that came of all this

do you want to hear it?

It is the best, because it came from my own tiny mind and if I had to choose

only one thing of all the ideas it would be my truly

FAVORITE and of course, except for all the people parts of the project, the

one I would send to you if you limited me to only one.

Now our new pool to jump into with no safety net ? is our project to adopt

two or three russian orphans oh dear that looks scary in print

so what if I want to take a big bag of dill over to the orphanage in Russia so

it can be added to the borscht (I would sprinkle some of your dill over my

new stuff as if it were magic potent fairy dust just to make it official) .

. . . “

ground ginger

sent to G. J. Smullen in Waupun WI

“August 2, 2001, 6:30 a.m.

Get large bread bowl from lower cupboard.

Into it, pour about 4 cups of warm water.

Add: 3 tablespoons of clover honey

sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dry yeast over sweetened liquid.

Wait until yeast is bubbly; look out window and check clouds, trees, a bird

or two; retrieve newspapers from front porch; start coffee.

Add to the bowl: Alex’s ginger

Lots of chives

pour mound of salt into palm and dump into bowl.

3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats

4 jumbo chicken eggs

4 gurgles of olive oil poured from gallon bottle;

5 or 6 is okay.


Then, add: Occident unbleached flour enough to make stiff mix. Let rest.

Wake Lori, coffee’s ready, read newspaper, make toast, go to bathroom,

wash hands. Back to breadmaking.

Add more flour while kneading. Knead until sponge is glutinous (stretchy)

and satiny on its exterior. Rub Crisco onto bowl’s interior. Place sponge

into bowl, getting Crisco on its backside. Turn over and plop it in bowl.

Soak terry cloth towel in warm water. Wring out. Place over bowl. Let

dough rise twice. Beat down twice. Get out four large bread pans. Lay

down wisps of Crisco on bottom and bottom sides. Cut sponge into four

equal parts (HA!). Knead out all air. Place loaves in pans. Place wet towel

over pans. Let dough rise. When dough fills pans and sticks above, looking

like loaves of bread, place them in oven, set at 375 degrees. Set timer for 40

minutes. The aroma is delectable. When the timer rings, turn off stove and

shake pans over cooling racks. Set loaves upright. Try not to cut when

bread is too hot. Ummmmmmmmmm. Enjoy.”

ohio oregano

sent to Martha Braun in Shelburne Falls MA

“… had a place of honor in a stir fry made (otherwise) from vegetables out

of my lovely garden: yellow squash

green beans

daikon radish


It made a very tasty entrée and was greatly enjoyed by both dinner guest

and self.”

paprika (grown by Charmaine Szanyi Hrusch)

sent to Darryl Grimm in New Orleans LA

“Paprika always makes me think of German or Polish food and this gave

me a good excuse to indulge in potato cakes. The recipe I made up is

different than most, in that it uses both cooked and raw potatoes and has

two distinct potato tastes, the crispy outside and the sharp and sweet soft


I took one large Idaho potato and boiled it until it was tender, peeled and

diced it and put the bits into a large bowl, which I then dusted with paprika,

kosher salt and fresh dill. Next I mixed ½ cup of applesauce with two tbsp

of creamy prepared horseradish and stirred that in untill everything was

coated evenly and put the mixture into the fridge for an hour.

Then I peeled a second Idaho potato and grated it, using the large holes on

the grater. I made a patty with the refrigerated mixture and holding it in my

left hand, I pressed an even layer of grated raw potato on top. Then,

carefully, I slipped the patty into a saute pan with a little over ¼ inch of

peanut oil heated to about 350 degrees. The patty went into the pan with

the raw potato side down. As it began to cook, I pressed another even layer

of grated raw potato on the top. When the bottom was brown and crispy, I

carefully flipped the patty over and browned the other side, then put it on a

paper towel, while I made three more.

I made a sauce of roughly equal parts applesauce, horseradish and sour

cream to serve with the potato cakes.

For photographs, I browned a fresh bratwurst to add to the plate, and

garnished with fresh dill. The plate used in the photo is from Antoine’s and

was used in the restaurant during the late 1950’s.”


sent to Mary Ann Begland in Penfield NY

“...having decided I would not settle for

Rosemary Potatoes, the search was on for something

quick but good that used rosemary. Discovered that my

old cookbooks just didn't have any recipes that

called for rosemary. What to do; easy in this day

and age - check out the internet. Actually, the best

thing of all was that I found this site:

It was there that I found the following marinade

recipe, tried it out (with company), and decided it

would do. So here it is:

Lemon and Rosemary Marinade

(I tried it with boneless chicken breasts)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/50 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

( pinch of red pepper flakes, optional)

Whisk all ingredients together.

Marinate in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

May also be used as a marinade for steaks; just

omit the mustard and add lots of black pepper

happy cooking!”


sent to Anna French in Kent OH

response from Maggie Anderson:

“I can now truthfully report that Anna used your savory from ‘The Spice

Project’ in the chestnut stuffing for our turkey on December 24, 2002. It was

excellent. Accompanied by turkey (of course -- free range), mashed

potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and dinner rolls. Pumpkin pie for


sea salt (from Jean-Claude van Itallie)

sent to Stathis Orphanos in Hollywood CA

“Received your ‘sea salt.’ Since we’re going to Greece in Septemeber, I will

try to use it there, either to sprinkle along the Samian shore where Ritsos

collected pebbles that he later decorated and had affixed to an elaborate

German limited edition, or during a dinner with Christianopoulos in

Soloniki. Hope he doesn’t think I’m trying to poison him. Or take it to

Athens and sprinkle it on Melina’s tomb, and Elytis’, if he’s in the same

cemetery. Or find a definitive Greek soldier (sailor) and have him do

something with it while I photograph him.”


sent to John Held Jr. in San Francisco CA

“Spread it on the wind during a walk on Clement Street in San Francisco.”



the day before my 58th birthday

Ken B.Miller sent an envelope rubberstampd “Planet of the Abes.”

its contents includ’d ten Lincoln heads on FasTrack.

there were

a) one 2 15/16” x 2 1/2”

b) one 2 1/4” x 2”

c) five 1 5/8”x 1 1/8”

d) three 1 1/4” x 7/8”

here’s what I did with them:

a) cut in half mailing top to Rex Booth in San Francisco & bottom to Mark

Allen in New York City

b) affix to front cover of coin album housing “Pennies from Heaven”


1) cut off hair & beard & put those on the image of Alice Kitselman to

return to her as part of the No Hair Day project. then put the rest of Abe on

envelope containing a birthday card to Regina Yando

2) attach to my manuscript book Mail & More

3) stick to stall door in men’s room at Greer Garson Theater during

intermission of “Cabaret”

4) lay in vol. 1 of Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln: The War Years at

Elyria Public Library

5) stick under a saloon tabletop at Eaves Movie Ranch


1) affix to front free endpaper of my signd copy of Paul Metcalf’s Both

2) give to John Ericson when he stops by to borrow a VCR

3) place on top of a public phone at St. Louis airport



a large envelope arr’d in my mailbox from R. B. Sprague. in it were pieces

of an oil painting & this letter:


The only casualty of the departure from the Joyce Robins Gallery June 12

was a painting entitled “Blue & White Ball w/ Red Star” 24” x 22” Oil/Linen

1995 Retail $3600.00. After sorting and storing most of the 20 pieces

returned, this particular painting was placed to rest against a roll of bubble

wrap for later storage. This morning (Wednesday, June 13, 2001) I went for

some bubble wrap to prepare for shipment a wedding gift (“Green Chair w/

Pillow” 6” x 4” Oil/Panel 2000) to Michael Hoover in Denver. In unrolling

the bubble wrap, “Blue & White Ball w/ Red Star” fell face down onto an old

palette caked with the usual spires of dried oil paint. A spire of raw Umber

pierced the skin of “Blue & White Ball w/ Red Star.” I never considered this

piece a successful painting and decided to re-use the stretchers and black

frame. It occurred to me that your penchant for minutiae might be piqued

with a snippet of this now defunct piece. As a memento mori I have

snipped out the title image and the offending hole. It is my hope that this

will give you some pleasure.


in july I took the “title image” to Kirk Mullenax‘s frame shop.

in aug I began cutting the fragments (with the artist’s permission) & putting

them together with objects around the house.

here is this series:

1) antique cardboard frame which Ira Joel Haber sent me with other items

after being evictd from his loft after 31 years

2) Fisher Jewel Tray which Mother kept for years on top of a chest of

drawers at the foot of her bed

3) cap from a bottle of Coca-Cola purchasd in Budapest in 1985 (featuring

the “offending hole”)

4) matchbox from El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon (1991)

5) box which originally containd a Todos Santos gold-coverd chocolate bee

from Regina Yando

6) patron identification bracelet from Aid & Comfort (1999) used as a cock

ring at Southern Decadence (2000)

& here’s what happend to them:

1) given to Bill Berger in Culver City as a house gift nov 2001

2) maild to Cynthia Mayer Pramuk in San Carlos xmas 2001

3) presentd to T. R. Queen in Las Vegas as a token of 50 years of friendship

jan 2002

4) maild to Bob Barnes in Fort Worth for his 39th birthday jan 2002

5) given to David W. Meredith in Kent as a house gift may 2002

6) presentd to Jim Provenzano on opening nite of his play “PINS” in San

Francisco aug 2002


a manilla envelope I addressd by hand on which is pastd a copy of the

portrait of my mother that my father took to Europe during WW2.

inside is an envelope addressd to me by my mother & a copy of this text:

this was maild from the Elyria post office on 14 sept 01 -- Mother’s 80th


# # #

after months of preparing this piece I wasn’t able to send it from Elyria. the

terrorist attacks on the United States closd the nation’s airports for the first

time in history preventing me from flying to Ohio for mother’s birthday.

so that the piece wdn’t be lost I addressd one & took it with me to the

memorial service in New Mexico’s capitol building. from there I walkd to

the main post office in downtown Santa Fe & maild it to Maggie Anderson

with a note of explanation.

14 sept 01:SF


in the earth between the rocks beside the water of my pond

I stuck 14 beeswax candles which had been in a kitchen cabinet

since Dimitri & I purchasd them from the monks who made them

on our only visit to a Greek Orthodox skete in northern New Mexico.

on opposing sides of each candle I had written the name

of a dead one I wishd to remember.

here are the names:

Susan Kirby / T.R. Queen

James Dean / Marilyn Monroe

John F. Kennedy / Matthew Shepard

Allison & Bill / Jeff & Sandy

Frank O’Hara / James Broughton

Janis Joplin / Judy Garland

Marianne Moore / Joseph Cornell

Peter Burnell / Gerald Mast

Howard P. Vincent / Paul Metcalf

Robert Drivas / Richard Martin

Andy Warhol / Ray Johnson

Julia Waida / Bernique Longley

Mary Yando / Sophie Hause

Mark Bingham / Mychal Judge

then I lit the candles & as they flickerd in the wind I rememberd . . .

2 nov 02:SF

45s FROM THE 50s

Sarah Vaughn “Make Yourself Comfortable” Mercury

sent to Daniel W. K. Lee New York NY

The Chordettes “Mr. Sandman” Cadence

sent to Fred B. Binckes Laurel MT

The Tracey Twins “Tonight You Belong to Me” Reserve

sent to Tom Shales McLean VA

Billie Holiday “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” M-G-M

sent to Judy Henske Pasadena CA

Peggy Lee “Crazy in the Heart” Decca

sent to Roberto Marquez Weehawken NJ

Al Hibbler “Unchained Melody” Decca

sent to Kent Taylor San Francisco CA

Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly “True Love” Capitol

sent to Garold Gardner Las Vegas NV

Jo Stafford “It’s Almost Tomorrow” Columbia

sent to Martha Braun Shelburne Falls MA

Steve Allen “Lola’s Theme” Coral

sent to T. Allan Taylor Los Angeles CA

Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” RCA Victor

sent to Howard Erlichman South Euclid OH

The Andrews Sisters “The Three Bells” Decca

sent to Gary Herb Salisbury MD

Debbie Reynolds “Tammy” Coral

sent to Roy Blakey Minneapolis MN

31 dec 02:SF


Andy Warhol stamp & wrapping from Twinings jasmine green tea

sent to

1. B. L. Kennedy

2. Thurston Moore

3. Judith A. Hoffberg

4. Jason Rodgers

5. Nathan Taylor

6. Chip Tilden

7. Matthew Wascovich

8. Andrew Lundwall

9. Danielle Rae Miller

10.Christopher Sepesy

11.Paghat the Ratgirl

12.Pup (San Diego)

13.Carroll Brooks

14.John Olsen

15.Mark A. Fleege

16.Claudine Intner

17.J. B. (Mississanga Canada)

18.Dr. Surearts

19.Walt Evans

20.Sticker Dude

jan 2003:SF








Bryan Ockert took this of me in his kitchen in Austin at the beginning of

2003. I’m making a coffee stain in the project which I began at the end of





in 1943 the US Treasury struck pennies in steel to save copper for the war

effort. they were then coatd in zinc.

in 2003 Jeff Wietor gave me as one of my birthday gifts an antique coin

purse in one side of which were 10 of the pennies from my birth year.

on the last day of 2003 I’m mailing each of those pennies to someone who I

instruct to mail it on to someone else & on & on till it returns to me.

I look forward to seeing if the 10 steel pennies & this page come back to me

by my 61st birthday (25 apr 2004).

* * * *

I sent the above text in an envelope with a penny to the following:

Bob Barnes TX

Jay Critchley MA

J. B. Dodd NC

Judson Kinkaide OK

David McDaniel NY

Todd Moore NM

Soren Murray CA

G. J. Smullen WI

Matthew Wascovich OH

Chuck Welch MN

it didn’t take long for the postal service to return Welch’s with the note

“attempted / not known.” I got the Crackerjack Kid’s address from an

online mail art site.

it was after my birthday that I finally receivd penny #5. here is the list of

those who took part in the adventure:

David McDaniel New York NY

Richard Northcutt New York NY

Jody Lindsey Norman OK

Sharon Lessly Knoxville TN

Jennifer Miller Austin TX

Elizabeth Warren Austin TX

Ava Young Oklahoma City OK

Bill Archer Mesa AZ

Tim Ormand Sampsonville SC

John Worsfold Cedar Park TX

the remaining 8 pennies were never returnd.






MY CONTRIBUTION TO “Five Million Copies Project”




#1 (29 oct 04)

tambourine / Maui lei



#2 (31 oct 04)

copper nozzle / Julia Waida bowl


#3 (2 nov 04)

Deco bookend / Leaves of Grass







#4 (7 nov 04)

Buenos Aires boot / West Hollywood boxers





#5 (10 nov 04)

Dad’s saw / Covent Garden Market pillow




#6 (16 nov 04)

Smith Corona typewriter / Emerson fedora






#7 (18 nov 04)

bread box / chair fragment





#8 (21 nov 04)

Chateau Marmont hanger / bud vase




#9 (28 nov 04)

colander / Cleveland Indians souvenir bat




#10 (1 dec 04)

pencil sharpener / Buddha’s hand




#11 (8 dec 04)

Warhol mug bought in Palm Springs/

toucan bought in Key West





#12 (14 dec 04)

Greek canteen / Uncle John’s sausage maker





#13 (20 dec 04)

Grandpa Gildzen’s radio / Pola Negri can





#14 (25 dec 04)

dog Dad brought back from WW2 Germany

/ Gertrude Rikeldifer’s Steuben glass



#15 (31 dec 04)

Mexican mask / shoemaker’s last





















I(da) :

My Contribution to “The Mirror Project”










jar # 1

paper label:

peach spread

Hotel Limpia

Fort Davis TX







geodesic dome souvenir pin Expo 67 Montreal 1967

prop bullet from “92 in the Shade” from Linda Lyke 1974

turkey wishbone given to Dimitri by my mother after dinner on his first visit

to Elyria 1987

Hotel Grande Bretagne soap Athens 1992

pack of Juicy Fruit purchasd at Wrigley’s El Rancho Escondido on Catalina

Island 2001


jar # 2

paper label:

Pumpkin Butter

Kudzu Bakery

Georgetown SC


Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign button 1968

Tom & Mary’s Bar key ring Columbus circa 1975

Tony Awards souvenir program light 1983

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame I.D. bracelet Cleveland 1997

chocolate Easter egg with word “talus” on an attachd tag from my first

Santa Fe reading 2001






85 Envelopes

(photo by Regina Yando)

on her 85th birthday I placd Mom's rocking chair in the middle of the

livingroom. I had plannd to place it under the magnolia tree I gave her for

Mother's Day many years ago but it raind in the morning & the grass was


I askd Mom to sit in her chair. then I made a circle around her from 85

envelopes she's sent me in the past 5 years.

a month later during my reading at Palm Springs Art Musuem I pausd after

a poem abt her from Ohio Triangle & passd out the envelopes to those in

the audience.






among Dad’s effects was a rusting can which had been in the attic for

years. in it were bundles of his payroll receipts from General Industries

Company. I removd them from the can & brought them back to Santa Fe

where I spread them on the floor & began to organize.

the stubs give a complete picture of his post-war working life. he had

begun work at GI in 1938 but enterd the army in 1941. after serving in

Europe he returnd to the US on 22 oct 1945 & was dischargd on 26 oct

1945. his first weekly pay stub has the date 16 dec 1945. his gross pay was

$39.29. there are more than 1600 receipts covering every year until 1979.

that final stub – for 15 april of that year – shows he was making $149.29.

Dad was looking forward to his 90th birthday on 29 july 2008 but he died

exactly 5 months before that date. ironically 3 & a half weeks before his

birthday General Industries burnd to the ground.

I woke early on his birthday & took shovel & rake to a space in my

backyard. then with Dad’s hand trowel from Canton Manufacturing I made


I “plantd” his paystubs in rows. at the head of this garden I placd a plaque

his friends Lenny & Ellie D’Agostino had given him. it says “Al’s Garden

Art, Inc.”



shortly after I made the piece my neighbor Phil Andrews came over & filmd

it. I postd the video on You Tube.



“Summer Hit Parade” first appeared in Poems of 2 Friends (Twin Lakes OH:

Toucan Press, 1973). It was collected with early versions of “Blues,” “Liszt”

and “Non-Automobi(list)s”in Liszt & Other Lists (Twin Lakes OH: Toucan

Press, 1976).

“7 Memories of Cynthia” first appeared in The Year Book (Plainfield VT:

North Atlantic Books, 1974).

“Colt’s Double-Action Revolver (Caliber .45)” first appeared in Skins

(Kent OH: Catcher Press, 1981).

“A Novel Valentine” first appeared in Poetry Super Highway ,

Feb 24-Mar 2, 2003 (

Postcard Poems (Kent OH: Viscerally Press, 1978).

“Ten from Tenn,” “Tape Downs,” “The Last Valentine of the Twentieth

Century,” “Torn Together,” “Rubbings,” “16 Envelopes,” “Butch Series,”

“An Envelope Within An Envelope,” “Dia de los Muertos” and “45s from the

50s” comprised Mail & More, an electronic chapbook from Deep Cleveland

Junkmail Oracle.


The example from “Blood Orange Valentine Series” first appeared online as

part of the “Emotion” project on Jim Beach’s mail art site.

“Abe Inventory” first appeared in “The Secret Life of Abe Lincoln,”

Shouting at the Postman/Cult Figures (2001-02), (

“My Contribution to Five Million Copies Project” appeared online on Nov.

25, 2004 (

“I(da): My Contribution to The Mirror Project” appeared online in Dec. 2004

as #27394 (

“Icebox Beauties of 1999,” “2 Jars” and “20 Phrases E-maild…” appeared

in Otoliths 13 (2009).




Alex Gildzen was born in Monterey CA in 1943.

he moved to Lorain OH two weeks later to

Elyria OH in 1946 to Kent OH in 1961 &

to Santa Fe NM in 1994.









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