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Channel-surfing #1

June 30, 2011
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Overheard some channel-surfing and couldn’t help myself. The text is all taken from the first words I heard on each channel, and every new line is a different channel. I’m not sure how to classify this, or if it should even be on this blog, but can we just call it Flarf and move on?

Anyway, here’s the aptly-if-not-imaginatively titled Channel-surfing #1:

Certain things started occurring
in her background,
is there anything else?
Why’d you?

Grand opening,
one more hour
*applause*
you may now be seated.

I wasn’t driving the car that night.
yes
but you broke the tv screen
in my own business.

*applause*
these things that are coming out.
Did you have to consult a manual?
Basically, there’s two different types of evidence.

It’s solely your decision
that was going to be mine.

Would you like to be a father times four?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2011 3:20 pm

    Fascinating. I guess it’s found poetry, constrained by what’s on your TV?

    • Matthew permalink
      June 30, 2011 4:37 pm

      Yes. Found poetry. Not sure how that didn’t occur to me. I like that better.

      And it was kind of serendipitous, too, because I wasn’t in control of the tv. The guy flipping channels just happened to be going at the right speed for me to catch about one phrase from each channel before he moved on. Can’t imagine I’ll find myself in that situation again very soon.

      Still, it was fun while it lasted.

  2. Eric Elshtain permalink
    July 2, 2011 8:50 am

    The best way I have heard this type of poetry described is as a “mechanized improvization”: Beard of Bees published some results of this form in the chapbook Huckabee Goes Electric http://beardofbees.com/pubs/Huckabee_Goes_Electric.pdf by poet Matthias Regan. He explains more and better in his preface, but the poems are essentially transcriptions of what he heard on the radio. A kind of sequence of filters in play with one another: radio news, human mind, computer keyboard…

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