Saturday, March 07, 2009

Flarf Reading #11

Mesmer, Sharon. 2007. "I Am Apparently Unable to Subscribe". Annoying Diabetic Bitch. Combo Books.

I think a case can made that the "badness" or "wrongness" of Flarf is a challenge to poetic expertise. More importantly, it challenges the idea that there is such as thing as emotional expertise. It gives feeling back to the amateur and that, I think, is the "humanity" that underlies a good piece of Flarf. It is part of its tone—a certain kind of lightness.

Take my word for it, I am not a lawyer.

I will return to this "I am not an authority on the subject" theme in my next post. The point can be generalized however: the speaking subject in this poem is definitely NOT a poet. That makes lyricism difficult, but also more effective when it comes about.

if I were able to subscribe I'd be your first born child,
so sleepy am I, so husband-free,
and old and apparently unable to find the opening of the sleeping bag.

The inability to subscribe (to mainstream, orthodox emotions?) is presented in a variety of ways and compared to not being able to drive, not being able to understand douching and (I like this one) secretly being Canadian. But a "straight" answer is attempted at the end, which is as poignant as keeping the milk in the cow:

Why the fuck am I apparently unable to subscribe?
Oh, that's right—I forgot to "invite myself."

One last piece of Flarf later today. Then on to other things.

1 comment:

Presskorn said...

When watching television last night I picked up on the following wise words [spoken about theatre however]: ”What is good about the absurd is not that is absurd, but rather that it is realistic.”[Thomas Bredsdorff]

In my mind, this remark immediately connected to what you, contra-intuitively, stress about flarf, namely the presence of a unified speaker.

I guess my point may be expressed in this way: As absurd as it may be, sometimes I *do* feel like an annoying diabetic bitch. I.e. Annoying Diabetic Bitch is to some extent a realistic poem.