Monday, October 10, 2005


JH: I haven't really considered flarf as a technique, though I enjoy reading flarfwerk. And, to belatedly answer a previous question, I don't have any technique recommendations. The closest I come to procedure is anaphora. I use anaphora more in our collaboration than in my solo writing. As Poe pointed out, long poems (epics were his example) must have barren stretches, and anaphoric passages is one way to fill this in - filler as individual-yet-related poem (that phrase, "individual-yet-related poem", could serve as Poe's definition of the highlights of an epic) But our poem is far from what Poe was thinking about (or writing about, who knows what he foresaw?). Is our poem an epic?

AHB: Anaphora works well as a rhythmic interstice. Allen Ginsberg used it a lot. I really like Poe and his nervous erudition. I don't recall having read his point about long poems before, but it's a weirdly sensible acceptance of the problems of epic. Of which I really know little. Epic seems to mean long, a work of expanse. In that sense, at least, MONSTER, our collaboration is epic. I would think that epic also means a work that comprises 'so much', and I would say ours does, being a freewheeling improvisation. But I am not working within the idea of epic as I write it, certainly not in the way that Olson was with Maximus. Are you? “Individual yet related poem” is how I see much of my work. I guess I have to point to Digital Cellular Phone, in that it is accessible (yay Internet) and is 'pieced together'. I would quote from Baudelaire's intro to his Poemes En Prose if I could dig the book out, the image of a chopped up snake that he brings forth. So is out poem epic? Need the writer be epical (as Olson, for one, kinda seemed to be, as 'he' comes down to us) to produce an epic?


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