Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drew Gardner & Various Artists | Flarf Orchestra

Listen to K. Silem Mohammad reading "Utah!" and other pieces.

Listen to Sharon Mesmer reading "A Unicorn Boner for Humanity"

Buy a copy of this crazy-ass CD here.

Most readers of this blog probably don't know this, given that most of you are in Europe or Asia and probably don't read much American poetry, but back in late 2000 I began writing a bunch of crazy, somewhat offensive poems that I began to call "flarf." In the spring of 2001, a half-dozen friends and I launched the Flarf email list, which ultimately grew to about 30-40 participants.

You can read a short history of the movement here and an article about us that appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal here.

Over the course of a decade or so, my friends and I put on a number of performances--in New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington DC, and elsewhere--and at a few of these performances, flarf poet and jazz musician Drew Gardner put together impromptu Flarf Orchestras, made up of both local professional and completely amateur (or altogether non-) musicians, who provided music for some of the readings.

This CD, just released by DC flarf poet Rod Smith's Edge Books, features 10 of those live performances. For those curious about this blog author's "other life," I should warn you that I'm not one of the featured readers, though I do play a plastic blow-into-it sort of "keyboard" on one of the tracks. That said, the music is solid, often fabulous and, as is the case with the sample tracks above, offers an occasionally transcendent mix of language and music, the likes of which I'm guessing you've probably never heard.

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