Monday, February 12, 2007

Quite a few people get to my blog with searches involving teeth and dental floss.

Dear readers, you know that I don't usually weigh in on most poetry conversations going on in blogland, but the comment stream over on Jessica's blog is interesting, so I'll send you there. I think can define flarf fairly precisely, but before I do, I will talk about why Mark is so great.

Mark is so great because he is supportive--he's always telling me that I'm great. This would be boring and dull if he didn't mean it, but I he does. And by telling me I'm great I don't mean that he's always saying I'm intelligent and creative and beautiful and that he loves me, though he says all of those things. I mean that he says them and acts like he believes them, which he does.

It's good to be with someone that wants to be around me because we have shared interests, not because it's an obligation. So Mark and I talk about poetry, and animals, and food, and travel, and music, and exercise, and psychology, and other things with each other because we like these things and we like each other.

Now, as I said, I think I can define flarf fairly precisely:

1. It started in New York, more or less.
2. It is process oriented, and in a tradition of process-oriented work that includes Cage and MacLow.
2. The procedural mechanisms it uses are are different than the ones anyone could have used before, because Google and the internet have not always existed.
3. The source content is also, of course, very different.
4. It is satirical, often.
5. It also shares some concerns with Language Poetry (and procedural texts). There's an interest in how structures create discourses, how manipulation of structure can help change discourses, or at least make us aware of them.


Jessica Smith said...

right. flarf. i guess i don't feel that such a definition is precise enough. for me to be comfortable with it. it makes me very uncomfortable. i really hate the whole idea of flarf, for some reason. i am trying not to react too much. i mean, people should do what they want. and there's technically nothing wrong with flarf. but i get very pissed off about it.

anyway... talk more about mark. it's very enchanting to see love.

Ryan W. said...

wow... I had somehow missed the superlong flarf thread at looktouch. holy shit. umm, maybe you called it "interesting" before it became what it became. it deserves so much more than to be called "interesting", as it turns out.