The Torrance Family Hallway—Flarf

Flashes of thought surfaced from doors as access points

To four-way intersections where distance fades off forever

Toward downtown ceilings of grasping kudzu.

Always leading to the unconscious mind

Always leading to the ghost in the room.


And he said something floating in a forest of Bug-B-Gone

A regular reservoir of able engine idle

Revving through voiceless vocals.


First, I wanted to destroy the meaning in the words

Lit by descending rays of sunshine.

Then, I wanted to create meaning the words didn’t have

Behind vertical stripes of tin roof and dew.

Now, I strive to create emotion outside of the words

Streaking white December morning windows

With crumpled pages of the sports section

And blue ammonia liquid from Tampax commercials.


And I was walking through the hallway of…

Forgotten where I was.


FLARF is a wild style of poetry that started as a joke. People noticed that no matter how bad your poems were would tell you that you had won their poetry prize. Then, they would try to scam you out of your money. So devious poets started sending the crappiest poetry they could write to Even that would win the poetry prize. These poets began sending each other their crappy poems, and eventually it became a legitimate poetry style. If you want to read more about the FLARF or any of the other poetry terms, check out the glossary of poetic terms from the Poetry Foundation at:

Google painting is a type of collaging that primarily uses internet search results and Google’s search prediction capabilities to generate quasi-random phrases. The technique helps jumpstart creativity with strange juxtapositions, broken syntax, and internet speak.


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