In looking into new trends in poetry, I encountered the so-called flarf poetry movement, much of it centered around the Philadelphia-based website www.jacket2.org. While I applaud the idea behind flarf poetry—attempting to shake up a dead poetry scene—the execution is flawed. If anything, flarf doubles down on the failings of academy-based poetry.
That is, poetry which is wordy, pretentious, a pose—and dull. Their supposedly new techniques are little more than William Burroughs’ “cut-up” methods applied to poetry.
Or: it’s not just that it’s awful poetry as poetry. It’s poetry that no one outside their insular flarf-poetry academy clique would enjoy reading. Their chief idea is: being a bad poet merely for the sake of being a bad poet.
We’re going in the opposite direction. We start with simplicity and entertainment. FIRST. To achieve this we’re willing to go back to past formulas (cadence; rhyme), tweaking them, reviving them, reinventing them. Structure works. Form is essential to art. Formulas are fine. Sonnets are a formula. 1960’s Motown music was a formula. The question isn’t using a formula, but what you do with it. There is no end to the amount of meaning and art which can be added to simple, memorable, easily recited verse.
As we intend to show.
Read our efforts at www.newpoplitinteractive.wordpress.com. We invite any and all poets including flarf poets to drop their serious facades and give Fun Pop Poetry a go. (Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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