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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Garcia

RWET week 6: A prayer for bad situations

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

"Some contemporary poetry goes still farther in pursuing attention to gaps in sense and the complicity between poets and readers in the making of meaning." - Charles O. Hartman, Virtual Muse

Nothing in our readings so far has struck me more than that sentiment. " the making of meaning," is this not love? Filling "gaps in sense" is what drives us forward as a species... from the base and literal reproductive level, to the idea that our independent existential crises will be resolved if we can find our "other half." Whatever form that "half" may take. Call me a romantic, but I've been pursuing a relationship with "The Other" my entire life. As an empath and Devil's advocate, I think perhaps a passionate affair with The Other as our other half might be the key to our survival as a species, recognizing that being each other's Other is the one thing we have in common.

In kind, this week I wanted to explore empathy toward reconciling differences in poetic form.

Strange Situation Spell Generator

Here were my rules:

1. Place self in Other's shoes while traversing a confrontational situation

2. Acknowledge today's news as that Other

3. Reflect with a prayer or spell

Constructing the frame for the first rule came off the ITP student list. [u haz] hypothetical was proposed by someone I assume looking for thesis content, and the body responded. So I used Tracery module to create a mad lib-ian hypothetical generator and populated the fillers with Others in Situations, in such way:

The next step was asking that Other to step back into the real world, with hopes that it would provide an opportunity to reflect on Today's Events from a different perspective. I picked up from the resource list, and upon some deft Googling found a fantastic and straightforward tutorial on how to call items based on keyword. The tutorial was tailored toward making a wordcloud, but served my purposes wonderfully. It was especially nice to have a space to define and test query phrases and quickly parse through results. I wanted to reflect on Other-blaming, and found that "allege" was a formidable query key for that purpose. Interestingly, the results are the most incendiary topics for Otherist peanut gallery debates:

So what to do now that you are wearing shoes that don't fit, reading news that requires your complicity in making meaning or the message? Pray, I suppose.

"If you are a witch who believes in past lives, know that you have been both the one burned at the stake and the one holding the match."

Darius Kazemi's archetype corpora is a goldmine for ritual-speak raw material. I combined a few of Darius' corpora sources for another mad lib-ian prayer structure... I only realized after the fact that I could have used Tracery to build the content, so it's fairly sloppy in its current iteration. Still, the results were painfully relevant... here are three iterations as required...

Github here:


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