Flarf plays Dionysus to Conceptual Writing’s Apollo. Flarf uses traditional poetic tropes (“taste” and “subjectivity”) and forms (stanza and verse) to turn these conventions inside out. Conceptual Writing rarely “looks” like poetry and uses its own subjectivity to construct a linguistic machine that words may be poured into; it cares little for the outcome. Flarf is hilarious. Conceptual Writing is dry. Flarf is the Land O’Lakes butter squaw; Conceptual Writing is the government’s nutritional label on the box. Flarf is Larry Rivers. Conceptual Writing is Andy Warhol. No matter. They’re two sides of the same coin. Choose your poison and embrace your guilty pleasure.—Kenny G .Also, here's a flarf poem from Katie Degentesh. For a reading of Degentesh's poem see Ryan Fitzpatrick here.
NO ONE CARES MUCH WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU
when Serbs get mad, they talk
about a small town like Grace
Stop laughing; I’m serious
Grace is all I can afford on my nursing home wages
I pity her for the thankless job of building
A nation of Americans conceived in petri dishes.
Whores are disposable.
They get strangled, beaten, tortured, raped ...
in old motels, diners, train stations, or whatever,
and I think about Capri Sun bags when it happens.
As he unzips his pants I realize that I’m
what happens to us when the curtain goes down
no one cares much for the body parts
murderer creeping up behind her
Look, poetry, painting, writing ...
People don’t get it like they should.
But it exists because it’s a link to what we can
accomplish through our Academic Plan
no mattter how public it all seems
there’s a forced casualness to this conversation
I’ve been out here shooting long snough
I know even a public toilet will net you jail time
Because when it comes to that word, “nigger,”
- I know that this is illegal -
it’s like the emergence of yet another guilty, white Southern male
as the fat lady continues to sing
“when they were first created the thing
was to make them as white as possible”
as long as we are laughing
at Rush Limbaugh’s addiction
remember that Mt. Rushmore was itself
the creation of an ardent member of the Ku Klux Klan
from The Anger Scale