Flarf: An experimental poetry movement in which poems are composed from random Internet word-string searches. Also used as a verb (see quoted passage below).
Flarf had its origins in a prank, but after slightly less than a decade "is showing signs of having cleared a spot among the ranks of legitimate art forms," according to the July/August issue of Poets & Writers magazine:
The seed for Flarf was planted in New York City in 2000, soon after poet Gary Sullivan learned that his dying grandfather had been scammed by the International Library of Poetry, the now-defunct organization that purported to hold poetry contests, yet accepted every poem it received, asking "winners" to pay fifty dollars for a copy of an anthology featuring their poem. As a prank, Sullivan submitted the worst poem he could write. The poem, titled "Mm-hmm," began: "Yeah, mm-hmm, it's true / big birds make / big doo! I got fire inside / my ‘huppa'-chimp(TM) / gonna be agreessive, greasy aw yeah god / wanna DOOT! DOOT! / Pffffffffffffffffffffffffft! hey!"
After receiving the obligatory embossed letter telling him he'd "won," Sullivan passed the poem around to a group of his poet friends, who in turn submitted their own terrible poems to the site. Before long, they started penning and sending these "bad" poems to one another, more poets joined in, and a private Listserv was born. ...
Soon, the poets started riffing off one another's lines and competing to create the most outrageous pieces. Sullivan used this technique to write a poem titled "Flarf Balonacy Swingle," and the collective quickly adopted Flarf as a verb, adjective, and noun to describe what they were doing. They were "flarfing" their "flarf" poems, which were, of course, "flarfy."
A 400-page anthology—Flarf: An Anthology of Flarf—will be published in November by Edge Books of Washington, D.C.
Here's a short, tame Flarf based on search terms* that led readers to this blog:
what are really gross names
weird gross names
literature worst names vegemite
words with two Rs
words with "ay" in them
euphemism for bitch
chicken poop lip balm
swim goggle strap porn
how to scare a person with words
(Hat tip: Kottke.org.)
* All search terms were used between July 27 and August 2, 2009.