“Why am I always saying I’m anointing when what I’m really doing is abluting?” or Sharon Mesmer Keeps the Faith

While a lot of other Flarfists are moving beyond or backing away from the style, Sharon Mesmer’s recent work online seem to be burrowing in, mining flarfy aesthetics and materials for untapped thematic possibilities. Flarf as Buddhist meditative practice? Flarf as vague devotional poetry? Awwwww yeahhh.

There’s less aggression in these new poems, either directed towards or emanating from their speakers—which makes them much less bracing, and maybe a tad less funny, than the ones in Mesmer’s great Annoying Diabetic Bitch. But as someone who’s always imagining links between Kenneth Goldsmith’s self-transcriptions and Buddhist mindfulness, or between the antireferentiality of avant-garde poetry and the transrationalism of Zen koans, I can’t help looking forward to where this might lead.