Monday, June 16, 2008

Flarf is Nonceptualism vs. a Conceptual's Poetics = LangPo's Bastards Hit Puberty

In what I would have considered an unlikely turn of events, a online debate (or simply sometimes militant compare and contrast session) between Flarf and Conceptual Poetry is underway. Thus far, I would have to say that the debate is less about the differences between the two practices, and more about the differences between the practicioners, though perhaps the line is thin. Occasionally, a third, fourth, or fifth party weighs in... most often to object to the existence of the debate, with some even seeming to prefer that neither practice existed at all.

I disliked these 3rd party reminders from the outside world, these supposedly impending contingencies. They impose without any alternative implications. It would seem an increasingly common reaction toward many poet's/artist's frustrations with such specific debates. It's not that what they say isn't true, but that its relevance is superficial: there are omitted, ignored and rejected factors in every debate, as a debate is defined by the examination of a confrontation taking place along
specific boundaries of certain entities.

Flarf is Projective Verse. Conceptual Poetry is the New York School. - Ron Silliman

Conceptual Poetry is the new Language Poetry. Flarf is the new New York School. -Andy Dander

Conceptual poetry
is like saying

'hot heat'

flarf is more like
constructing the sound
of a human sneeze
out of dog barks.

CON POET POWER! -Nicholas Manning

From now on the collective formerly known as Flarf will be known as the Nonceptualists. - K. Silem Mohammad

Nonceptualist Manifesto Part I -K. Silem Mohammad

new movements like Conceptual Writing or Flarf are the correct responses for our time. If writing is not taking these new conditions into its poetics, it simply cannot be considered contemporary. -Kenneth Goldsmith

Now Even More!:

- Angela G.

Having some unseen impulse, Kasey Mohammad once again repositions the poetry formerly known as Flarf. Read the revisions: Nonceptualists Now Transceptualists. Related fields being Misceptualism/ Unceptualism/ Noceptualism/ Someceptualism/ Windsweptualism/ & Flarfing as a product of a Poetic('s) Disorder [to promote word loss].  


brian salchert said...

Great highights.
I am neither a conceptualist, nor a
flarfist, nor a nonconceptualist;
but I am somewhat interested in them. I call my poetics an It Poetics. That is, the work in hand is more important than any--when there is any--preconceived notion about it.

Separately: Your blog is the first
one I've seen which keeps track of
when certain other blogs are updated.
Is that part of the new Blogger?

Jeremy James Thompson said...


I am also none of the above, or all of the above. Again, I'll echo my initial thought (hope) that the debates and efforts should be focused on practices as form, rather than identities. The naming of things is better left as posthumous work, unless there's some need for solidarity, political stance, or regional identification (none of which see evident/ present in these cases).

I remember I kind of Poetic Statement of on your blog not too long ago. Was that in regard to your It Poetics?

And yes, the update prioritized listings of my blog roll is a feature of the new Blogger.

brian salchert said...


You may already know this,
but I just posted a post which
links to this post, and on it
I've included a link to my
rho0028 It Poetics post.

The new Blogger has some nice
features, but I'm going to stay
with what I have.

Tim Peterson said...

Alternative implication:

Jeremy James Thompson said...


I appreciate the link & have begun to read. There is so much to read. Perhaps once I have read more I will have a better understanding of what this is. I understand the surface of the thing: to queer something, parallels between identity/ gender politics and GENRE politics (channeling Retallack, here). It seems a true alternative implication, but with true alternative baggage and consequences. My curiosity, however destructive, wants to read yet another manifesto, like: Queerasure Omissions or Opaqueer Contraductions.

brian salchert said...

Was over at KSM's today, and
he's changed "nonceptualism"
to "transceptualism" and no one
had yet questioned why.
I didn't either.

Jeremy James Thompson said...

Thank, Brian. What with Transcepts running around look out for Drag Poetics.


Tim Peterson said...

Hi Jeremy,

I would think the editorial statements for the journal speak for themselves: the Foucault of the History of Sexuality versus the Foucault of Discipline and Punish, The simultaneous coalescing and dispersal of identity filtered through the idea of language being queer rather than just authors, the problem of the link between manifestos and heteronormativity in general.

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