Dear Ray Johnson,
Thank you very much for yours of the 27th instance. I hope you will forgive me for not responding sooner. That is, assuming that a response to your communication is required, or even appropriate. The nature of mail art makes it unclear whether either pertains. In any case, I did intend to respond, even if it were only to say how impressed I am with the mysteries of this form of communication. It seems to me that it would not be out of character to let you know what activities I have been pursuing in recent days. Before I forget, however, let me ask you to alert me to any future events you are planning for the world. Even if it is only some trivial demonstration such as dropping rabbits out of a helicopter over Welfare Island, I would like very much to be present.
I also have been busy lately. Estimates are that I have taken approximately 85 naps in the past 30 days. The radio was turned on during this entire time, but I heard very little of it. I was mostly asleep, talking on the telephone, eating, doing the laundry. You see how hard it is for me to keep up with radio programming. It is also my understanding that construction has resumed on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. This alone precludes my spending time listening to the radio. I hope that you were not being interviewed, or, if you were, that they will replay the broadcast when my attention is not directed elsewhere.
The arm wrestling championships at Madison Square Garden this year were a great disappointment. As far as I can determine there was no representative from the Isle of Ptyx.
Did I tell you about the exhibit I walked into by mistake? The women were improvising songs. The men were slapping punching bags. Guests were supposed to wear masks, but most were discarded and were piled up in a corner. I heard later they brought in horses, one for each invited guest. The artist owns a stable in Yonkers, and has lots of horses he wanted to include in an art installation. The horses scared the catering staff. They went flying out the back door, took most of the booze with them. The women improvised songs about horse races. The men began punching each other. In the end a huge time machine packed up everybody, took them to a library where they were cataloged according to the rings they wore. I had to climb four flights of stairs to get out of the kitchen. We had toast with marmalade for breakfast. Two angels with trumpets came by just to say hello. They brought spiders and offered $1000 reward for the return of their pet rock.
I am hoping they won’t include my name in this week’s celebrity list. Last time they spelled it wrong: Opals instead of Shining Star.
Hope everything is going well with you. Stay off platform shoes. You need speedy footwear on the Autobahn. Let me know how it goes with your deafness. We all have these problems from time to time. I hear it helps to get a hearing aid and keep it in your pocket, something like a grigri. James Joyce had that problem with his foot, couldn’t hear sounds around a corner. Some say that accounts for Finnegan’s Wake. If you hear strange sounds, stare at a blank wall for about 45 minutes. If you wake up and can’t see the nose in front of your face, turn on the light and stop eating canned tuna fish. Beef stew can give you delirium tremens, carpal tunnel and other bad diseases. My doctor says I should avoid bottled water. He says aliens have taken over Maine and are poisoning the water up there. This began years ago when Margaret Chase Smith was abducted. They brought her back as a stand-up comedienne named Audrey Belladonna, little remembered now. But she got her revenge, gave them a good dose of the clap.
With all due respect, I hope this finds you well.
As always, your companion, comrade and fellow traveler,
PS All art belongs to its time. It is now 6:59 PM (EST), Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Happy hour starts at 10 AM and ends at midnight.
A Letter to Ray Johnson
Dear Ray Johnson,