Sunday, April 05, 2009

More Flarf

I'm responding to this here post by Kevin.

Dear Kevin,

You make a lot of assumptions, about poetry, about philosophy and certainly about Flarf here.

The above poem [in your post] isn't flarf: it's more like a copy of what Flarf seems like to someone who doesn't get it.

I should also add that you don't like what you don't like, and no one can argue with that. So a good point to start off a critique of Flarf might be to ask just what it is that you don't like about Flarf and go from there.

But, your characterization of Flarf as plagiarism is a mischaracterization. Considering that poetry has often appropriated, and that some would contest that found poetry leans more toward plagiarism than Flarf, it seems weird to accuse Flarf of plagiarism

For more on what is NOT plagiarism, see here.

You further say this:

Before anyone argues that this “lack of style” ought to be considered a style all its own I’d like to state that such an argument cannot be construed as viable in any sense.

To which I ask, why? Why can't misspellings and mistakes of various kinds be considered style? Let's argue it. Not before, but now. Why can't these be style? Who's to say that they can't?

Another assumption: poetry communicates "meaning."

Another: poetry communicates a linearly grasped idea (plot--> progression-->terminus)= pat idea/statement of "meaning" to reader? Are poems supposed to "mean" things? Is your "meaning" my "meaning"?

Another: Flarf communicates nothing. (Have you ever read "Chicks Dig War" by Drew Gardner?)

Please read “Chicks Dig War” and then come back to your blog and tell me that Flarf communicates nothing, nothing about war, nothing about chicks digging it, nothing about GWAR.

Did I plagiarize?


Kevin said...

Hey Ryan, I'm glad you took an interest in my post. I've responded to you in my blog. Please check it out as I anticipate your response.

(I noticed a typo in my previous comment and it bothered me so I fixed it here)

Ryan said...


I'm going to address your questions and claims either later today or tomorrow. Currently I'm buried under an avalanche of minutia that threatens to really piss me off if I don't deal with it post haste.