Down by the Pearl (Modern Letter Project).

faked by Friday, May 11th, 2007

My latest missive for the Modern Letter Project is considerably toned down from the last one I did. I actually wrote a real letter—on stationary!—to go along with this one. No matter how much fun I was having making more and more elaborate pieces, it was slowing down the actual project and, arguably, shortchanging my writing partner.

What I was really doing was a replay of a “letter battle” Roy Adkins and I had a few years back. We sent increasingly more complicated pieces to each other that contained, or were, the letters. The only one I recall sending to Roy was a telephone, with the letter written in Sharpie that wove its way around the whole phone. It looked like a cave painting or something Keith Haring woulda done on a sidewalk, and I was mighty pleased.

Roy won through sheer inventiveness and mass; among his talents other than photography are woodworking (and airplane piloting—seriously), and I got a three-and-a-half foot box in the mail one day. With my portrait painted on it. Once one removed the series of screws holding the top on, one could slide out a glass panel onto which the letter was etched.

Um, yeah. I lost. The thing is, we knew each other quite well and this was a fun thing between friends; I decided to go back to writing to my MLP partners so it wouldn’t end up being “oh! I received a rocking chair in the mail, which has a haiku inscribed upon the seat.” Polaroids are still such a great medium for mail—I send them as postcards all the time—and they’re pretty and there are millions in my home, so they’re perfect.

The response to my solicitation for The Sandusky Review has been nothing short of amazing. I’m extremely excited to be pulling it all together and have begun to polish up the essays. It’s been a while since I’ve really worked over a piece of writing to get a certain feel out of it and it’s difficult but rewarding. Thanks for the wonderfully kind words you’ve sent my way—it’s meant so much.

Previous Pearl River explorations:
(Untitled) (Azaleas) Jackson, Miss. (where the other side of the trestle can be glimpsed)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

Previous Modern Letters:
Nostra Aetate.
Dear Tromant.
Dear Liz, Love Jax.

2 Responses to “Down by the Pearl (Modern Letter Project).”

  1. Man, you should really do a whole show or collection or something of all these Pearl River photos. I think people have forgotten to think about the Pear River, or forgotten how to think about it, anyway.

    You better save me a copy of the Sandusky Review. I’m saving up my pennies.

    Also, don’t give up on the haiku-chair idea. I think you may be on to something. Or just on something.

  2. Scott in Lexington says:


    I love the pix. Nice work.

    I saw the Hold Steady for the first time last night at the Southgate House near Cincinatti. Amazing show and a great venue… Wish you and the Prof were there to help bring the rock,,,