When I was going through my undergrad at UTK, I kept running across Romantic poetry. At the time, I couldn’t stand the stuff. It was dull, it lacked life, joy, a certain music that played in the background against the words. I can’t quite pin it down, but there was definitely something in there that I just couldn’t jive to. Every line would end and I’d feel my eyes unfocus. I’d start people watching without realizing I was doing it. At the end of the poem, I’d realize that I hadn’t read anything, and I’d have to go and do the whole damn thing again.

And then, I discovered Dadaism. The absolute maddest thing on the face of the planet. Everything about it made me want to jump up and shout, “Yes!” like a character from a Jack Kerouac book. Of course, as tends to happen, we only read a couple of them and then went on to Samuel Beckett. (Which, for the record, I also got a rise out of.) But, in my opinion, there’s no real comparison. I wrote a flash fiction (micro-fiction?) piece about it. It’s untitled, but I’d have to call it “Dada” if nothing else.

For more information about the best thing ever, check out the manifesto or, perhaps, another manifesto, this time on Surrealism.

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