This generative poem transports its readers to Ireland, and all the water, sunshine, green fields, agriculture, and magic that goes into brewing its world-famous beers. This work is populated by poets, scholars, musicians, the pooka— a mischievous, dark, shape-shifting fairy creature— fields, blue lakes, valleys, forests, and other shapes taken by the land. All the people, faerie, and personified landscapes consider, contemplate, and dream of how they all are a part of the real and mystical brew that flows from St. James Gate.
A peek into the source code reveals a key question by Malloy: “How would a poet drinking Guinness rewrite this work?” The work referred to is Nick Montfort’s “Taroko Gorge” which also produces an endless meditation of the components of a Chinese river gorge of the same name.
Is this a poem? Malloy prefers to call the output of generative works “arrays,” and center-justifies the lines produced to de-emphasize their similarity to poetry (see “You!” for an example). This is why she labels her act as an “intervention” and credits Nick Montfort for the “authoring system,” refraining from using the <del> tag— a tradition initiated by Scott Rettberg in the first remix, “Tokyo Garage.” The friendly violence of the struck-through author’s name frames the remix as a kind of palimpsest, crediting yet replacing the authorial figure. Malloy reconceptualizes “Taroko Gorge” as an authoring system— a framework through which other poets can stage interventions and generate new arrays.
Are these arrays poetry? Perhaps the poem itself emerges from the interaction of a reader with the array, which would be true of any poetic text, electronic or in print. If so, I recommend clicking on the link above, launching Montfort’s authoring system as intervened upon by Malloy, and reading the array it produces to transform its looping permutations into a poem.
Preferably with a pint of Guinness by your side. Sláinte!