Sjoeke is a Brussels'Flemish word for darling, so you can read this as "darlings from Brussels"; connected with the French word "choux" you can also read this as Brussels'sprouts; mon chou is also used in French to say "my darling"; this blog on life in Brussels started originally in support of the BOZAR project POZE to document life in St Josse and other Brussels' towns. A Sjoeke is also a delicious pastry (chocolate or mocca with a cream filling, éclair in French)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MARILYN, LIZA, MEG & ME or communication BEYOND

March 29, 2006

Meg Taney Founds, a wonderful poet from the US mailed me this watercolor postcard by Marilyn Dammann from 2002.

I start crying like a baby from the emotional shock.

Marilyn was one of my closest correspondents. She died last year and I developed my first blog as a tribute to her memory.
Please visit

From this blog is also this picture
of Marilyn in Brussels.
She visited me in 1998.
So this is a FLASH BACK again.
She's accompanied here by one of my other close friends, the poet Liza Leyla, who also lives in Brussels.
This picture was taken not far from the pub "the ultimate hallucination" (the green house you see in the back), a hot spot for Brussels' Flemish community.
The pub is constructed with some relics of disapeared "art nouveau" buildings!

Liza wrote the next poem after Marilyn traveled beyond ...


To Marilyn Dammann, in memoriam

Une vague de paix
roule sur l'océan
J'entends son chant
d'amour et abandon
La pluie annonce
le soleil mordant
qui brûle la cité
aux rayons d'églantier
La tour de Méli
promontoire d'été
aux ailes bleutés
messages de célérité
Le gris du ciel
se mua en tapis
aux reflets saumâtres
âmes des nuages
La pluie s'allie
à la sécheresse
marée enceinte
de l'attente inespérée
Elle se baigna
dans l'orée
de ses rubis
rires d'Anubis
Elle se coucha
dans son nid
de feuilles ocres
miroir d'étincelles
Chute des pierres
envolées de siècles
Dentelle de mirages
ancre d'infinitude

Liza Leyla, Brussels BELGIUM

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Madou square with Madou tower is like the entrance to St Josse and makes also the division between St Josse and the Brussels' city center because it is situated next to the inner ring of the town. That ring follows more or less the historical walls and gates around the center. The outer highway ring circles around what Brussels became later in its development.

Madou tower like Rogier tower (at the Rogier square, near the northern railway station, also in St Josse) were amongst the first "sky scrapers" of the country and got renewed in recent years. It created a kind of nostalgia because I remember quite well how these towers looked in the sixties when I was a kid.

I took this picture March 1, 2006 when it was snowing. I like the light in this picture and the contrast between trees and building...

Madou square, entrance to the subway station on the right; strange contrast between the snow, footprints, the trash and the bikes at the bike stand.

Madou square is a nerve point with severel bus stops, the subway, the inner ring with a lot of car traffic and pedestrians crossing the inner ring...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


March 2006

A pile of mail art waiting to be answered ...

Cover of parcel in which an artist book was mailed to me by Christine Tarantino (USA). The artist book productions are the topic of another blog I developed and which is a shared blog with many other artists. Please visit:

Thursday, March 16, 2006


See Poem
March 12, Virginia in Ostend, on her way to the Cursaal to attend the Preisner concert.
Virginia Cubillan drinking coffee in my Brussels's flat.
She came from the USA just "for a weekend"(March 11-13, 2006).
Virginia is a poet and teacher. This is one of her poems and I have chosen this one because it sounded like a perfect echo and comment on the suicide death of Baudhuin Simon, known in mail art as PIG DADA.
Cats are known for
Having nine lives to kill,
By the wag of their tales
You can tell
Which one they're on.
Men are known for
Having one death to live,
By the depth of the holes
They dig you can tell how
Close they are to
(c) Virginia Cubillan
She has the hands of a butterfly
waving pain to walk out
till time slides
strawberries from her lips
when moon rises but sun remains
(c) Guido Vermeulen

Friday, March 10, 2006


March 9, 2006 I receive this stamp on an envelope sent to me by José Vandenbroucke.
This stamp (based on a photo) was made by Buzz Blurr (USA) when he visited Belgium to attend the alternative arts and music festival that happens every year in St Niklaas and that unites many mail artists. Immediately I think of using this image to illustrate myself in the BLOG profile.

March 9 was also the day the Belgian mail artist BAUDHUIN SIMON decided to end his life.
This is how I reacted followed by a comment of Peter Netmail (from Germany) and a card of José and Baudhuin in happier days. José mailed the card again to me after the tragic weekend.

Dear Friends,

On March 9 Baudhuin Simon, the Belgian mail artist who introduced me to the mail art network in 1993, committed suicide. The news reached me Saturday.
I composed a message on "what happened" and posted it on a few Yahoo mail art groups.
I would like to share this with all of you:

To all mail artists

On the suicidal death of Baudhuin Simon:
Yes, the news is true. It reached me by a message from his former girl friend on Saturday while I was hosting the arrival of a poet in my flat (Virginia Cubillan, someone I met thru Mark Sonnenfeld, she lives in the USA but is from Venezuela).
The contrast between the excitement of meeting someone new thru' the network and the sad announcement of the suicide of Baudhuin (who introduced me to mail art in 1993) was enormous.

I took Virginia to see a Puccini opera on Saturday (Le Villi)
That opera is on the ghosts of dead people!!!
Sunday we traveled to Ostend to attend a concert with the music of Preisner
(who wrote the splendid scores for all of Kieslowski's movies)
The concert started with a selection of parts of his requiem for a dead friend.
It almost felt that PIG DADA was present during the whole weekend.
I could tell you lots of things on the circumstances of his act but I refrain myself and prefer to be quiet. It's his choice and the end of his traveling, in this world anyway. The least I can do is respect this.

Be well and remember him for what he meant in mail art ...

Guido Vermeulen

La mort ne change rien, rien ne change car tout change, la vie change toujours, ce n'est que la mort qui ne change rien

Dear friends,

I am considering pigdada´s suicide. His end moves me very much. I myself am only still here, because there were people exactly at the right time in the right place to show me the value of life through their mere presence, when I was depressed and wanted to throw it away in my darkest moments of addiction.
I do not believe now any more that all this happened to me by accident, and so am grateful to them and my higher power.
Those of you who know me personally, will understand that these are not the words of a religious spinster, and that I enjoy today every single hour of my new life, as an artist - "whichever the weather" - often enough together with my mail art friends, in their places or mine.
What I do regret is that Baudhuin never revealed this dark side of his soul to me and so I had no chance to share my own way of healing with him. may he rest in peace.

Peter Netmail, GERMANY

"There are no borders", José is from the Flemish part, Baudhuin was from the French part; the lion is the symbol of Flanders, the rooster is the symbol of the Walloon part, PIG was the symbol of Baudhuin. José wrote on the back of this postcard that arrived March 13: "one pig less"

Drawing on a postcard by David Stone, USA
received March 20
It accompanied a poem David wrote after the news of Baudhuin's suicide.

Pigs can fly but now pig crippled his own wings...

David Stone is a contemporary US poet and the catalyst behind the BLACKBIRD anthologies

Baudhuinic Disorder

On the Suicide of Baudhuin Simon,March 9,2006.

A tribune of darts
haunts the forest.
Lumberjacks wake
to the smell
of country fresh
pancakes and sausage
crackling on the griddle.

And for dinner,
sinewy flanks
too tough to chew,
served on a platter
with a glazed apple
jammed in a tusky snout.

22 years ago,
after the animal
farm revolt,
the horse sale
by Napoleonic order.

And in the 1990's,
Dada Pigart
flew on one wing
from the fire ring
above the frozen fields.

David Stone
March 16, 2006
Marvelous mail art envelope from Aline Girard & Véronique Duhaut (France)
mailed to Baudhuin Simon AFTER his suicide.
This posthumous mail art action reminded me very much of the splendid book art project "Postal Séance", an "investigation on the existence of a postal service in another world" and explored mail art to "dead people" and how the postal system reacted on that.
Some of the letters returned, others were delivered! (meaning that communication art beyond "death" is possible ...)
Beyond are more "in memoriam" art works by Aline and Véronique