Life, the universe, and flarf. / 6 January 2015
I wrote this flarf poem in the first few days of this New Year, having written almost nothing for a month. I hope it sparks the imagination and provides the reader with a fresh, unique perspective on life.
Flarf seems to have come about by accident. It began as a send-up, a bit of a lark, by Gary Sullivan, to bring out the inherent awfulness, etc., of some pre-existing text.
Flarf his now an accepted and respectable way to generate poetry. Flarf is taken seriously. Poets enjoy writing it and readers, apparently, enjoy reading it.
Dan Hoy said flarf is like collage; it's what happens when poets spend too much time fucking around on the internet.
For me, a newcomer to the form, flarf works as a creative laxative, for the times when I sit there needing to write but it just won’t come out.
The starting point for this poem was rather straightforward, neither clever nor stupid; Into Google’s search bar I typed: What is the answer.
Working with various sentences and snippets in the search results, it soon became apparent that the phrase what is the answer can be read as both a question and a statement; I tried to use this ambiguity in the poem, make it more definite, which is a slight contradiction.
I like contradictions in poems.