14.4.08

Last night I slept with Abraham Lincoln

This morning I woke to it hiding underneath the bed (but still there! aha!). It arrived without apparent incident. Though the envelope was taped shut, so perhaps it was opened along the way, either way, what a surprise that would have been, as it is, jam-packed with some awesome, flarflish? poesy. I mean I'm not sure. I suspect some nods to flarfishness going on, but since I am still not too clear on the constructs of flarf, I would not know. This is even after hearing Katie Degentesh read some flarf poetry and explain its creation well over 5 years ago in DC. What my main query is what is the process or recipe, is there a specific formula to creating or is it completely interpretable on the side of the writer? And if so is it simply utilizing the internet as a base for a type of generated and or random current text, editable merely by a googled chance? Flarfy comments aside, if that is what is happening, is there a way to eyeball it? There are some great poems inside by, Rod Smith, Mel Nichols, Kevin Killian, Lanny Quarles, Brandon Brown, Cathy Eisenhower, Maria Damon, Patrick Durgin, Christina Strong, & Nada Gordon, among others. Some of the other work, Tao Lin's, for example, could perhaps be classified under the guise of the 'new sincerity', whether that is real is still under dispute, apparently. Because were it sincere would it not be non-fictive vs fictive...but there I go again getting muddled in terminology of movements which were perhaps a joke and not a school at all, but it certainly reads differently. I am not sure why I am getting caught up in any movement whatsoever, as the design is basic, the poetry good and readable all done up with kitschy cover art, a simple side staple and forewarnings of unsolicited submissions being 'licked and sent back'. Go get it.

9 comments:

Nada said...

I maintain, although there are those who disagree, that flarf is neither process nor technique, but an attitude. No recipe -- just *taste."

DUSIE said...

oooh! i like that summation!

Matt said...

I think I agree with that. As Louis Armstrong said, "If you have to ask what flarf is, you'll never know."

Dusie said...

Louis Armstrong said that, eh... are you equivocating flarf to jazz? Or at least flarf as a movement and its importance in modern poetry? I don't want a straight on answer necessarily or the same answer, but the method and its process would be interesting...no?

Matt said...

Don't worry, I couldn't give a straight answer if I tried. :)

I'm bad enough as it is at backing up my irreverent answers.

DUSIE said...

t'ja, me thinks the flarfists are a secretive society, and now their somehow political, or at least peaceful... I have known about flarf for so long, it is not new to me, but I guess I never expected it to still be around! which is why I bring it up again, here... I also always visualized the fluff image I did, so I needed a reason to post that...

Nada said...

We're not secretive – in fact we're very noisy! It's just that we're exclusive, and that bothers people.

The cool thing is that unlike some other poetry coteries, we don't proselytize!

Matt said...

All I know is, I liked it before I even knew what it was. I pulled Katie Degentesh's book off the shelf at random, before I knew what this flarf thing was, before I knew what a "Degentesh" was, and my first response was "Ha!", which was closely related to my second response, "Aha...". It's always nice to find experimental poetry that makes you laugh out loud. Kind of a rare thing.

DUSIE said...

"I once googled myself and haven't been the same since" Katie said that once...way long ago before googling or flarf were even in the poetic lexicon...i still say that!

oh and Nada...secretive no, intriguing yes!