what the fuck is Flarf ?

( this poem is for Jeff Dahlgren )


i better be writing this down
(uni-ball uppa notbok)
why not blogga 29¢ scratchpad?

reading a Silliman put me here,

(thanx for the prompt Ron,
comments are crucial)

scared of persona?

it sed "Fuck You!"
phrased lika street beatdown

dimestore dollar stretched so slogan
( a manifesto : DYNAMITE! , it still matters )

writing are you publishable like five thousand
copies sold supermarket redtop printrun?

usually i avoid asking interrogative
& omg!

i'm using "I"

too broke for fluffy greenstuff
nosmoke sedso mulch,

like chillout, cool it,

as d.a. made mimeo,
college made money

a canon w/o balls
( how impotent )

needa dick hardener?

read Poetry!

but whatta bout women?

moist panties make fantasy
mostly male w/ poke hole dipdown
yet me sexless such lonely solodweller

fuck biological imperative!

yr romance kills children

on the spot improv, so what?

that's life,

live it or don't

oh yeah, these lines limpid cigarette
secondhand my knowledge is stolen y'know

female writers muchmore radical,

violence will do that

even getgo vagina ety sheath,


the penile sword swingin' pens stiff,
inklaw bleeding letter to letter
laidover il più forte
fists ain't never subtle

where'd my tone go?
no research as per my usual operation
writquik & talkaboutit,
you haven't even read this

(my html tags ain't spacin' on some browsers,
fuckin' computers blow chunks uppa ghostnode)

oh ego yes, my picture is everywhere
so you know what i looklike

and won't you look at all my writshit?

(wrote smoke in air only Diogenes would know)

typical poets
always pushin' papers
of readme please readme

you can see



and here


telical up yer ass, know no finals

schools out forfuckingever

and the punk-rock don't needno nuthin'

beatnik sardine swims sogolden
saying what it is what it is

i diggit 'cause freekwings fly higher,
swim faster

thanna stufft out curriculum vitæ

(hadta lookup cv word, verify spellling,
why shood i cair?)

maybe i won't post this ...
(improper ellipsis)

dunno if first thot guts the guide
or heavy editing dulls the shine

or however clever -
stop the wars
weworld hell to death
anda doommusik drones onner
inna sludge-fucked heavyloud riffrumble

all my learnings preserved for specimen
stuck dustily infile of nonaction

this poem didn't turn out like i thot it wood,
this peom dudn't tirn oot loke i thot it wuid

what the fuck is Flarf ?

i'll hafta look into it.

7 kommentarer:

troylloyd sa...

no, this ain't about Ron Silliman.

ain't no dissin' -

i was prompted to this subject via reading Ron's blog (which has been a resource of invaluable knowledge & he always makes me think about shit & turns me onto some goodpo i ain't never known) the F vs. C thing gimme a think of "what the hell am i doing?"

why do avant gotta be so academic?

i was asking myself such while reading the excellent commentstream, even before i had finished reading the whole stream - i was thinkin' words in my head & decided a poem they would be, a throwback to an expressionist operation which i've long since abandoned -

i ain't no intellectual, but i dig the pursuits of such, and don't we gotta have an academy?

who the fuck else gives a shit about the intricate poetic world?

who the fuck else is gonna make an industry outta a writer?

james joyce = #1 cashcow

gertrude close 2nd

so i do appreciate the academy in its role of preserver, but its role as interpreter is more questionable.

anyways, i still haven't found a home.

poem notes:

d.a. = d.a. levy , highly admired among "hipsters", yet oddly ignored in academia.

golden sardine = Bob Kaufman

(value judgements are valueless)

autho unknowd sa...

In The Dark End of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry, Maria Damon offers an interesting insight into bebop and its relationship to the body. "Bebop got down, into the rhythm of the organs and the blood, making the body conscious of its internal movement and the eruptions, eliminations and ejaculations by which it expresses itself and shatters decorum: Oo-Pop-A-Da!--orgasm, defecation, flatulation, oral exclamation, and belch" (71). As insightful as Damon's comments are, there is yet another way in which bebop, particularly its vocal form, can be understood. Perhaps, as Gillespie implies, the bebop vocal is an attempt at fashioning a new language that not only responds to the musical tones of the instruments but is also an imaginative way of attempting to recall and reclaim the various African languages that were lost in the Diaspora.

"Bebop was a natural byproduct of this smoldering resentment against white copycats getting rich off black music"

Prior to the advent of bebop, white musicians such as Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, and the Dorsey Brothers had achieved public notoriety and financial gains, often by using arrangements by African American musicians like Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, and Chick Webb and by exploiting African American composers and performers. [1] Thus, bebop, and later free jazz, was developed to keep African American musical innovation away from Euro-based interpretations and in the hands of African American musicians.

In a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle that is included in his poetry collection Golden Sardine, Kaufman writes about the silent beat in between the drums:

"The word beat occurs here eleven times in its various forms, thereby emphasizing the rhythmic qualities of the prose passage and establishing our recognition of the "silent beat" that coveys an opposite and concurring rhythm as well. This emphasis also highlights the space between words. In this manner, Kaufman conveys the importance of poetry as an aural as well as a written creation.

That silent beat makes the drumbeat, it makes the drum, it makes the beat. Without it there is no drum, no beat. It is not the beat played by who is beating the drum. His is a noisy loud one, the silent beat is beaten by who is not beating on the drum, his silent beat drowns out all the noise, it comes before and after every beat, you hear it in between, its sound is."

On April 18, 1925, Kaufman was born into a middle-class New Orleans family in which reading was emphasized. His mother was a school teacher who had an extensive personal library and encouraged her thirteen children to read the works of Whitman, Proust, James, and Flaubert. Kaufman's eclectic reading would later inform certain experimental qualities in his poetry. His father was a Pullman porter who died of a heart attack when Kaufman was nine, although he would later inform biographers that his father drowned and was lost at sea. He was very close to his maternal great grandmother, who was brought from Africa on a slave ship; it was through her that he developed an appreciation for nature, which became an important element in his work.

Although both of Kaufman's parents were African American, he constantly invented biographical data that transcended strict racial classification. In contributor's notes to various anthologies in which his work appeared, he would write that his father was a "German Orthodox Jew" and his mother a voodoo Martinican Roman Catholic." Reference sources like Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series emphasize his Jewish and Catholic upbringing, often using it as a means to gloss his poetry. Maria Damon, who devotes a chapter to Kaufman in her book The Dark End of the Street, interviewed several members of Kaufman's family and provides convincing evidence to refute Kaufman's biographical claims. He once remarked, "One thing for certain I am not white. Thank God for that. It makes everything else bearable" . By refusing to specify his race and by having a recognizably Jewish last name, Kaufman became the quintessential American outsider.

Although Kaufman cultivated an outsider persona, he wasn't oblivious to the failings of American democracy, and he took perilous personal risks as an advocate for racial and social justice. As a result, he experienced all the violence and antagonism that America had to offer. When he was thirteen, a lynch mob hung him in an icehouse all night by his thumbs. At the age of eighteen, he joined the Merchant Marines and became an active member of the National Maritime Union as well as a communist labor organizer in the South. This was quite dangerous in McCarthy era America. He was constantly being brutalized by the police and was arrested more than thirty times during a two-year period. In 1963, he was arrested for walking on the grass in New York City's Washington Square Park, taken to the Tombs and transferred to Riker's Island, and then sent to Bellevue Hospital, where he received more than fifty involuntary shock treatments.

Although Kaufman emphasized the connection between poetry and orality, he took a Buddhist vow of silence after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and didn't speak again in public until 1973, after the Vietnam War ended.

Kaufman's preoccupation with anonymity and silence come, in his life story, to indicate strength and choice even as they continue to evoke their traditional negative association with the silencing of the dispossessed. The vow of silence carries with it the force of t he powerful--the users of words--assuming the powerlessness of those whose voices are ignored.

" I see the death some cannot see, because I am a poet spread-eagled on this bone of the world. A war is coming, in many forms. It shall take place. The South must hear Lincoln at Gettysburg, the South shall be forced to admit that we have endured. The black son of the American Revolution is not the son of the South. Crispus Attucks' death does not make him the Black son of the South. So be it.

Let the voice out of the whirlwind speak."

Golden Sardine is important in the study of jazz poetry because it marks the first time an African American poet of the generation following Langston Hughes would use bebop and scat improvisation to lend authenticity to his work. The collection is also important because it is the work of an artist who is unafraid to take risks. The inclusion of poetic "failures" as well as "successes" certainly marks a heroic moment in literature. The result is a miraculous unevenness of work that belies the Western critical desire constantly to create masterworks that often end up being closed and inflexible. Surely, Kaufman heard the surrealist Antonin Artaud's call from France advocating "no more masterpieces." And, in doing so, he frees up the page, allowing for the possibility of improvisation and demonstrating that good art can become simultaneously possible and impossible.

Although the book achieved literary notoriety, particularly in France, where Kaufman was celebrated as the "Black Rimbaud," it appears that he had little interest in its success.

autho unknowd sa...

More than any other poet of the time, levy was the heart and soul of the 1960s mimeo movement. For him, mimeo was not simply a passive vehicle for poems that could just as easily have been published by some other means. Many poets of the time simply used mimeo as a simple expedient. levy raised it to an art form in itself. Even when printing a book such as The Tibetan Stroboscope on offset presses, levy carried mimeo techniques into it. Perhaps most noticeable and most importantly, levy had learned how to achieve visual effects by over- or under- inking a stencil or turning a stencil around and printing it backwards. This not only produced visual effects, it became an essential part of his vision and the visionary qualities of the late work.

The riddles of d.a.levy's poetry continue to take strange paths 32 years after his death. According to the outlaw mythology that began before his suicide, and perhaps contributed more to it than any other factor, levy was a roaring wildman, ripping poems still bloody and throbbing from his viscera as he battled the evil forces of Amerikkka's puritanical gestapo. Occasionally, new editions of his work come forth, either to buttress conspiracy theories or as extensions of cute and sentimental outlaw legends. levy the poet tends to get lost in the myths, and the mythology continues to grow. With the giddy freak show whirling off into the misty vapors of speculation when he reappears, who could have predicted that levy would also attract the painstaking and devoted efforts of some of the most careful textual editors of the work of any poet during the second half of the 20th century? And who could have guessed further that such editors should come not from academe but from the counter-culture of which levy was a part? Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that they should be practicing poets.

levy's work revels in puns, neologisms, and verbal distortions. This book is densely packed with puns in the most common sense of the term. Even the titles run through lengthy permutations: The Book of the Dead becomes the BOD, not only in the slang term for body used most often in sexual contexts, but also in conjunction with the Egyptian concept of part of the soul, as well as an expression of disgust or dismissal, the BA, which in turn runs in and out of permutations of the BOO, a name for marijuana and an exclamation made to frighten children. The Egyptian Stroboscope can morph into such multi-referential tropes as "The Egyptian Straw Boss Cop" and "The eGyPtIan logos cop," at times affiliated with "The John Ba Society," and reaching its apotheosis in "Osiris X," kin to Oedipus and Malcolm, among others. It also included such distant relatives as the x-rated and the stroboscope's cousin, the x-ray. The linguistic play flies fast and furious, energized by the opportunities provided for exchanges of wit by the two writers, each egging the other on. But puns take on a larger significance in the book. You can easily read the creative anachronisms, the weaving together of ancient Egypt, Tibet, and conceptions of altered states of consciousness and the world of the transitional states between life and death, existence and rebirth, with the political pushes, Captain Marvel Comix, advertising slogans, topical references, jokes, and other features of the mid 1960s as puns made on a larger scale. The puns run from wise cracks to the frames within frames through which the smaller scale puns flow.

Some see levy as an embodiement of the strange currents and counter currents of a subculture during a chaotic period of history, and the archetype of the outlaw poet and martyr. To some extent this is true - his rants, curses, jeremiads, and imperications remain unsurpassed. But such a narrow focus takes the life out of his poetry, reducing him to little more than one of the cartoons by his sometime friend, R. Crumb. levy was a complete poet, with a range that extended beyond the wise-ass hipster and raucous iconoclast of his legend. It's easy enough to compare his wit to that of John Donne, but, in a truly levian set of contradictions, a work such as The North American Book of the Dead bears closer resemblance to the gentle mysticism of George Herbert than to the belicose pseudo-Buddhist pontifications of the beats, just as some of his lyrics continue Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, and levy's visual poems extend the visionary- utopian enthusiasm and plentitude of Blake and Patchen beyond the rigid concrete of the day.

-by karl young
via thing.net

further readings/lookings can be found at:



mike cannell sa...


troylloyd sa...


eggtooth sa...

nurse year kay hopes gonna build soon
enough to turn on entire ball soar
ear hear ick lick oooh ooh
in so me near move
oh near
any slick
ear cry nigh fooooool
vie oh rea
like con't imp pool
ill ticks the scar there
say yes to new
moxe tur neigh
she can all night soon
porse only sear who
her can't oooh new
veer clochth her shun or if I
steer near in final
sustain us foool
oh hear nigh foool
my sneek oh hear nigh fool
cry thru or hear nigh fooooool
climb thru
or hear nigh foool
cry thru
or hear nigh fooooool
blam blam blam blam blam blama blam
blam blam blam blam blam blam
close on me
and feel heel cling
ach ter neighbor is close and dear
aach win bolder hey stay he
we sprinkle toe skin
enter dear
or open ear here
how fow near feed her
oh pee poe
here fear steal linger
ha clue and drater
hear fore steer her
oh (yerch) for an list a doll fall sure
he'll fine on shine on you
oh year fine
year shine truth
saw hopping clue

i dunnoman it does repree sent my loopty loop
you know the scoop
and the suggestive imagery there thru out
dun got me pegged wif out a
aint gonna give up
the rhyme

and all that shite.
grhas sea ahs seen your.
feel lah dankh

oooh lah fuel oooh lah fuel
kan only oooh
ooooh lah koool
poo can now fuss
ooh canoe ooooh
ooo who can new
ooh la view can ooh
new lah view canoe
oooh la view can only
ooh lah byou can poo
oooh lah view can whooooo
yip oooh
sin you
yip ooh
syth new
yip poo
sent you
oh oooh.

troylloyd sa...

hey eggtooth,

thanx for commmenting.

didja ever lissen to that whole R. DuPlessis recording?

i think somewhere on there she's asked about rhyming,

and she she says says that's it's too much fun to exclude from her toolbox, and she can turn those wrenches so swervingly well.

Rhyme ainta Crime!