For me flarf is primarily about absurdity in the service of elation and subversion. That’s the upper limit. Lower limit is making your friends laugh during their tedious day-job work hours.
April 16, 2003
This locates poetry almost exactly where I would like it to be. Somewhere between cultural politics and working life. I think, however, that the words "subversion" and "tedious" indicate a presumption that poetry offers an alternative or escape from more quotidian and less valuable pursuits. It would be sufficient for me that poetry offered us elation (in a culture that does not need to be, or is unlikely to be, subverted) and laughter (during working hours that are not tedious, or not unnecessarily tedious).
What I mean is, the thing that I appreciate about flarf is its ability to "leave everything as it is," as Wittgenstein said philosophy must, and yet find some pleasure in it. There is a good deal of poetry out there that can only imagine joy at the expense of leaving everything behind or turning it upside down.