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by Jackson Mac Low
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Ten strophes derived from a passage in Gertrude Stein's play Capital
Capitals (A Stein Reader, [Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1993], 421–26
[the play's end]), by running it first through DIASTEX5, Charles O.
Hartman's most recent automation of one of my diastic reading-through
text-selection procedures, employing as "seed" a paragraph from A Long
Gay Book (Reader, 214, para. 7). In making this poem, 3 words
from the seed were inserted into the source passage before it was run
through DIASTEX5 to allow the program to complete one full period.
Periods were added to that program's output, and it was then sent through
Kenner and Joseph O'Rourke's program TRAVESTY, which was asked for an
order-4 "Travesty" of 2663 characters. Its output was revised in regard to
sentence breaks and sentence-final punctuation, but the words and neowords
and their order were left unchanged. Each sentence became a verse line and
these lines were grouped into strophes in which the numbers of lines in
succeeding strophes constituted two Lucas sequences: 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 18,
29, followed by 1, 3, 4.
421 and 214 are permutations of 241, found by opening a math-table book I
used in high school to a logarithm table. The extent of the source passage
was determined by random-digit chance operations as were the Travesty's
order number and number of characters.
Every typographical line ending indicates a short pause, strophe breaks
somewhat longer ones. Periods and question marks call for sentence-final
Jackson Mac Low New York: 11-14 September 1998
Pub. May 2001