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.

Something in a Word—Free Verse

Can you use a word to sooth a scar,

Squeeze it out onto your hand

Rub it on the tight red marks

Like lotion all over your skin?


Does it cool the itch after the sting

Of the initial application

The one that gets you yanking your hand back

With just the thought like there was something corrosive

In just the sight of the word?


Is the word your private prison of pop culture

Holding you in eclipse and fire

Like a sociopath keeping you in a well

Demanding you keep yourself well lubricated

For the day that it wears you like a dress?


The day that you fumble

With the lights out in the basement

And all you can hear is your own breathing

And the slight tickle of the word

Breathed on the back of your neck?

The Garbage Poetry Patch

With withering pretext of context

I set my words to paper

Roll them tightly

Place them in a bottle

And toss them in the ocean

To join the garbage

Floating in the Pacific garbage patch,

But something weird must have happened

And my words were returned on the tide

Because one day out in the garden

Playing with his toys in the dirt

My son was repeating slogans

Of words he couldn’t have heard.


I woke up remembering this poem I had written in my dreams last night. I tried to write it down before I forgot it. I remembered the first few lines word for word. The lines after that, I had to recreate from a general impression because I had begun to forget. And by the time I got to the final lines the only thing I could remember is that my son was in the poem in some way. So I had to make those lines up without any help from my dreams.

Big Words–Espinela–Poetry Scavenger Hunt

Look at that word! You must

Have found the thesaurus

Hoping for plethoras

Of big words you can trust


Falling deeply in lust

With their reputation

To give out the notion

To the billowing herds

That you know big words

Just not connotation.


I wrote this Espinela as part of Muris’ poetry scavenger hunt on the A Different Perspective page. If you want to participate, check out her page here: