Flarf is a form of poetry made by combining together phrases from random web searches. Here’s an early example:
“Yeah, mm-hmm, it’s true
big birds make
big doo! I got fire inside
gonna be agreessive, greasy aw yeah god
wanna DOOT! DOOT!
Flarf started off as a joke but then these joke poems that people were coming up with “evolved from ‘bad’ to ‘sort of great’”.
Edge Books publisher Rod Smith, a poet himself, says he feels the [Flarf] collective is prompting a bit of anarchy in the poetry world by widening the vocabulary of what is permissible. “Aesthetic judgments about what’s bad in a very hierarchal society are usually serving upper-class people with a certain amount of privilege,” he says. “So for a bunch of poets who are very well schooled in a variety of traditions of American poetry to take what’s considered bad and throw that at people is a very interesting maneuver. It’s not simply bad poetry; it’s quote-unquote bad poetry written by people who know how to write poetry.”