Thursday, November 14, 2013

365 Poems: Flarfed

Day 318

Like yesterday, only with new stuff.*

The elephant in the post.
1. Macro-fauna demise: Elephants and tigers and bison all have something in common -- By the end of the 19th century, they were being killed off like flies as their natural habitat in the 'hinterlands' (as our instructor Jeremy Adelman refers to them) was appropriated for use by various colonizing forces. These hinterlands being parts of interior Africa, India, China, and the U.S. Along with the mega-fauna, the indigenous hunan did not fare well, either. They fought largely unsuccessful guerilla wars, died of disease, were put into reservations and worse, concentration camps, and lost the lands they depended on for sustenance. And then World War I happened. A cheery night in history class.

2. Puritans are pretty funny. And sometimes feminist. Who knew? Anne Bradstreet was a pretty cool chick:
I am obnoxious to each carping tongue
Who says my hand a needle better fits.
A Poet's Pen all scorn I should thus wrong,
For such despite they cast on female wits.
If what I do prove well, it won't advance,
They'll say it's stol'n, or else it was by chance. (from Prologue)
3. Our word of the day comes from ModPo: 'Flarf.'  I think it sounds like candy but it's a kind of poetry that started as a joke and ended up getting taken seriously or at least kind of:
Originally a prank on the scam contest sponsored by the organization, the experimental poetry movement flarf has slowly assumed a serious position as a new kind of Internet-based poetic practice. Known for its reliance on Google as a means of generating odd juxtapositions, surfaces, and grammatical inaccuracies, flarf also celebrates deliberately bad or “incorrect” poetry by forcing clich├ęs, swear words, onomatopoeia, and other linguistic aberrations into poetic shape. Original flarf member Gary Sullivan describes flarf as “a kind of corrosive, cute, or cloying awfulness. Wrong. Un-P.C. Out of control. ‘Not okay.’” 
I love that it's characterized as 'not okay.'

And here is a fragment of flarf, this by Gary Sullivan and called 'Mm-hmm':
Yeah, mm-hmm, it's true
big birds make
big doo! I got fire inside
my "huppa"-chimp(TM)
gonna be agreessive, greasy aw yeah god
wanna DOOT! DOOT!
Pffffffffffffffffffffffffft! hey!
oooh yeah baby gonna shake & bake then take
AWWWWWL your monee, honee (tee hee)
uggah duggah buggah biggah buggah muggah...
Spectacularly bad! I think I've finally found my genre.

*And elephants instead of kittens.

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