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• alone
• america
• angel
• anger
• april
• baby
• ballad
• beach
• beautiful
• beauty
• believe
• birth
• brother
• butterfly
• car
• carpe diem
• change
• chicago
• childhood
• children
• cinderella
• city
• courage
• crazy
• dance
• dark
• daughter
• death
• depression
• despair
• dream
• family
• fate
• father
• fear
• fire
• food
• football
• freedom
• friend
• frog
• funeral
• funny
• future
• girl
• god
• graduation
• greed 
• grief
• haiku
• hair
• happiness
• happy
• hate
• heart
• heaven
• hero
• home
• hope
• house
• husband
• identity
• innocence
• january
• joy
• june
• justice
• kiss
• laughter
• life
• lonely
• loss
• lost
• love
• lust
• marriage
• memory
• mirror
• money
• moon
• mother
• murder
• music
• nature
• night
• ocean
• ode
• paris
• passion
• peace
• people
• pink
• poem
• poetry
• poverty
• power
• pride
• racism
• rain
• rainbow
• red
• remember
• respect
• river
• romance
• romantic
• rose
• running
• school
• sea
• sick
• silver
• sister
• sky
• sleep
• snake
• soldier
• sometimes
• song
• sonnet
• sorrow
• spring
• star
• success
• suicide
• summer
• sun
• swimming
• sympathy
• teacher
• thanks
• time
• together
• travel
• trust
• truth
• war
• warning
• water
• wedding
• winter
• woman
• work
• world

this is your life

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Your job is your life, and your mom
is your life, just as I am (or was)
your life.  Your money or your lack
of it is your life. The food prepared
and ladled onto plates is your life,
the beds, the pets, the clothes – your life,
your secret huddling your life, it is all
your life, you can’t cross out your life, you
can’t conduct erasures on your life,
you can’t be drunk every day
of your life, you can’t put a cloud
of smoke around your life, this is
it, this is your life, the past bleeding
pathetically into the present that blossoms
out in turn into inky (petulant) shapes of futurity (grief).

This is a poem. The cool thing about poems
is that they are ambiguous. They may seem
to refer to a specific person or situation, but in fact
they are generalizable.  That is why we are able
to press the language of others into the service of our
own expression.  This is your life, this expression,
and what, exactly, is life? Some kind of sticky
protoplasm. Life is short and squat,
or vaguely meandering. It is also fierce.
Life mutates, loops and rewinds and feeds
back. It is on infinite repeat. It forms patterns.
It jerks. It jolts. It sneaks. It shudders.
I am both afraid of it and not afraid of it.
Sometimes it makes the shape of explosions.
Sometimes it is rags. Sometimes it is verdant.
It’s all…life. Sometimes it takes the form of
someone who is almost brainless. Life
has too many sisters. Life wiggles in
confusion. You know what I mean
about life. All language is the language
of others: saints, adulterers, children,
liars, mothers, thieves, wives, inner beasts.
Life without language would be
unimaginable. Life isn’t language
but it constitutes itself in language.
Reflects back to itself in language.
What if a life took the form of a text?
Would it look something like this?

untenable in a way that is tenable

That’s what I love about comedy, the way you navigate yourself through a horrible situation. You paint an exit tunnel and walk out of it. You reconceive the facts you find unpleasant and untenable in a way that is tenable and makes you laugh. I think it is the greatest invention of mankind. 

  ~Merrill Markoe



Buy it or be…oblong?

Flarf Orchestra
Drew Gardner
ISBN 978-1-890311-35-3

Audio CD , Cover by the author
Genres: rock, jazz, avant garde, poetry, alternative, flarf
$11.00 direct from Aerial/Edge

Track Listing:

1. Rodney Koeneke (D)
2. K. Silem Mohammad (A)
3. Sharon Mesmer (D)
4. Nada Gordon (B)
5. Katie Degentesh (A)
6. Michael Magee (D)
7. Mel Nichols (C)
8. Eiríkur Örn Nor∂dahl (D)
9. Rod Smith (A)
10. Outro (A)
(A) Ty Cumbie (guitar), Avram Fefer (clarinet), Adam Lane (bass), John McClellan (drums),
Gregory Wildes (alto sax), 4.20.06, The Medicine Show, NYC
(B) Michael Clayville (trombone), John Orfe (piano), John Pickford Richards (viola), Kate
Sheeran (french horn), Elisabeth Stimpert (clarinet), 9.30.06, Dickinson College, PA
(C) Buck Downs (ac. guitar), Jamie Gaughran-Perez (el. guitar), Adam Good (el. bass), Paras
Kaul (brainwave music), Rodney Koeneke (percussion), Rod Smith (kazoo), Gary Sullivan (keyboard),
Lesley Poirier (percussion), Ryan Walker (ac. guitar), 2.18.07, DCAC, WDC
(D) Frankin Bruno (el. guitar), Katie Degentesh (el. bass), Ehran Elisha (drums), Eiríkur Örn
Nor∂dahl (el. guitar), Dave Ross (el. guitar) 4.26.08, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC
2011 Elklag Music (ASCAP)
New York City-based multi-instrumentalist and poet Drew
Gardner creates wild, spontaneous conductions of improvised
music played by indie rock, jazz and classical players and fuses it
with the outrageous poetry known as Flarf. Gardner has
painstakingly edited this compilation from several live recordings
into a suite of music and poetry that goes from post-rock to free
jazz to minimalism and back again, with an atmosphere that is
mesmerizing and riotous by turns.

Flarf Orchestra is one of several configurations from Gardner’s
Poetics Orchestra project, dedicated to combining the arts of
music and poetry. Gardner’s unique card and hand-signal
conduction system expands on those used by John Zorn and
Butch Morris.

Gardner often combines different types of musicians in his
groups: rock, jazz, classical and folk. The players on Flarf Orchestra
include indie rock guitar player Franklin Bruno (from the
Mountain Goats) classical piano player John Orfe (from Alarm Will
Sound), and jazz players Adam Lane, and Avram Fefer.
The nine Flarf poets include writers from all around the US as well as
Icelandic writer Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl. The Flarf poets use collaged
texts gathered from Google search results to create poetry.

Born in 1968, Drew Gardner is a pioneer of the Flarf poetry
movement and a multi-instrumentalist. He spent his early years as
a punk rock and avant-garde jazz drummer. He has written three
books of poetry, the lastest of which is Chomp Away (Combo) .
This is his debut CD.


Sooner or later, most people need to move
something too heavy to lift or too awkward
to handle.. We’re not floating around in a gaseous
haze. We hear it all the time “lighten up!” Almost
all of it comes from stars. We call it socially
transformative television. Is it possible
to damage your womb while moving
something with your leg? Picked a box
and bleeded pregnancy: Alien Swarm
Parasite. Heavy drinker (someone who
drinks too much). Almost all of it comes
from stars.  These heavy elements float
around in the Universe for a while and
eventually collect together around new
stars, forming planets, credit cards, malls,
and mail order catalogs. Books, artifacts
made of stone. He sold my books. Nuptial
spoils. We’re not floating around in a
gaseous haze. A heavy burden. A person in
space. A planet. A pile of blankets on top
of you. Gold bars. The earth. Ocarina
of time.  What do you call someone
who carries heavy things in Spanish?
As a child, enter the Lost Woods and go
right, left, right, straight , left. Dizzy,
unsteady feeling and heaviness in head?
I have a somewhat rubbery feeling beneath
my breasts. It’s like all my thoughts
are clustered up in a ball in my head.
This unbearable heaviness of pomo
individualism.  Nipple itching.  Chest
heaviness means feeling heavy in
chest, most people describe it as if
someone is holding their hearts,
feeling of wringing of heart and pain
in chest. A feeling of heaviness in the
pelvis or vagina. Do I have a gift of
discernment? I can just be by myself
and all of a sudden it is as though
something is place on me heavy.
I can barely lift. Ocarina of time.
Gold bars. The Earth. “Swigging.”
“Parbuckling.” Where did all that
heavy stuff cluttering up your bedroom
come from.  She lay for a week, neither
feeding nor excreting, on the floor,
among the straying frogs and starving
voles. Ununoctium. In this hidden
meadow, walk around in the grass
where the butterflies are hanging out
and you’ll find a hole.  In this secret area,
wear a mask (usually the Mask of Truth).
What is this heaviness I am feeling? My
ears will feel like they are filled with water
and my head feels really heavy-like with
fluid. Feeling Sad/Stiff Neck/ Heaviness in
Head/Slepplessness.  What happends if you
life too much when pregnant? Books, artifacts
made of stone. Just don’t burst your poo
valve. I’ve been in the garbage again: wading
around, searching for discarded bank statements
and soiled swimwear catalogues to set me straight
financially and corporeally.  Remember me as a
Unicorn:  pure chemicals, hard shapes, acute
angles, helium, enclosed combustion.

I stare at the screen

sometimes i just can’t move waiting for the dragon to stop breathing
Sometimes I just can’t move In a blue dream
once I finish sticky jumping I have little health left or sometimes I just can’t move in midair
I look like a dummy sometimes on over the faces of struggles
I hate being dirty especially if I start to smell, but sometimes I just can’t move.
sometimes I just stutter