Michelle Detorie recently asked me to “curate” a set of dice for her new cleromancy project from Hex Presse. The task was to choose a female poet and go through her poetry, picking 6 words for each of 6 dice. I chose Christina Rossetti, because I’m currently working with “Goblin Market,” and these are the words I chose:

Set I: Cup-Like Lilies
1. among rushes veiled with stock still
2. mouth to sound eye come taste
3. crouching clasping cautioning tingling warbling and
4. charm gifts thrust harm linger face
5. crown tendrils honey tones tomorrow brink
6. open heart churned modest absent delight

Set II: A Summer Wish
1. frost locked forth tender grave drips
2. heart apple-tree like rainbow shell gladder
3. remember hand day counsel late forget
4. half drawn rushes thick bed ruffle
5. turf harvesting twilight green grey chords
6. dew-sprent chiefly heedless straying morns blooming


About Jessica Smith
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6 Responses to cleromancy

  1. Steven D. Schroeder says:

    Sounds like a fun project. I’ve actually used dice (of the 10-sided variety) in getting to a couple poems. More a throwback to my roleplaying nerd days though…

  2. DUSIE says:

    this has got to be the best press name….i love it! can’t wait to see the work…

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    it’s interesting to try to *make* dice. to try to predict how words will go together when the dice are rolled. it’s very much like my normal poetry, actually– trying to predict the multiple paths the reader/roller might create. and also thinking about things like articles– do they need to be on the dice? can they be added in after the roll? are they really necessary? it brings in all these stein-like questions of the importance of different parts of speech.

  4. tmorange says:

    where did the titles for each set come from? and what happens next, who’s going to coup de des? keep us posted on how/where we can find the finished product (if such occurs)…


  5. Jessica Smith says:

    “Cup-like lilies” is a line from Goblin, if I remember correctly. A Summer Wish is the title of a poem. In the second set, each line (1-6) is from one of 6 different poems about temporality.

    i think michelle will toss the dice; at least, when i was making the word lists I was thinking of her “die*o*rama” sets. which did influence which words i chose.

  6. Michelle Detorie says:

    Jessica’s dice (which are so fun to play with btw) should be available in the next week or two at the Hex Presse etsy shop. It’s taking me much longer to make the sets than I thought (with woodburning/pyrography, if you makes a mistake, you have to start all over!). But soon. soon!

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