Why We Do the Things We Do—Free Verse

Women and fire and dangerous things.

Jumping to the top of a raging waterfall.

Traveling the rain slicked streets on two wheels.

And kissing hello like the French.


To see death up close and popping.

To be specific, simple, and electric.

To partner with the ring of feeling.

To develop the world’s biggest worry.

To come down fifty percent more.

To listen to the sound escape your grasp.

To find the hope that keeps you right there

Swells from the nothing and pulls you in.


A free verse poem has no set pattern for line or stanza length. Rhyme is not used, or it is used sparingly. The line length and the rhythm or the lines are dictated by the natural rhythm of speech or other concerns such as emphasis on a particular word, image, or idea.

The Red Room Sessions—Flarf

Under planets of rock,

The sky burns

Like a hymen at night

Broken for the first time.


One young woman taken

To a Harley Davidson dealer

Red sky records, red room session,

Santa Clause, and Fender guitars

With the red sunburst pattern.


Bleeding fast

Heavy fingered rock licks

And slow thundering riffs

Like the characteristic thump

Of a bike burning down

The highway of woman.


FLARF is a wild style of poetry that started as a joke. People noticed that no matter how bad your poems were Poetry.com 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 Poetry.com. 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: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/glossary-terms

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.