Diastic reading is an arbitrary but not random way of selecting words from one text to create a new text.
A key phrase(title phrase) guides the selection of words. Let’s say that the key phrase is “red balloon.” Starting at the beginning of the text, we would select the first word that began with an “r” — the first letter of the first keyword. Then, we’d continue from where we stopped in the text until we found a word that had an “e” as its second letter (the second letter of the keyword). Continuing, we’d look for a word that had a “d” as the third letter. Next, we’d look for a word that had a “b” as its first letter (the first letter of the second keyword). If at any point we reach the end of the text, we go back and continue from the beginning.
When a word is followed by a punctuation mark or ends a line in the source text, the line ends in the generated text.
Acrostic” reading-through procedures draw words and other linguistic units from source texts by “spelling out” their titles with linguistic units that have the letters of the words in the titles as their initial letters. One reads through a source text and finds successively linguistic units spelling out the title as follows: the units spelling out individual words comprise single lines (often long ones) and the series of lines spelling out the whole title comprises a stanza.
This book looks like a very rich source creating Computer based poetry :Charles O. Hartman, The Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry (Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996), pp. 95-96.
There is a discussion about the book in Grand Text Auto which is worthwhile to read.
I must say I am still trying to understand The Young Turtle Assymetries, actually the works that Jackson Mac Low did approaching in a different sense than merely diastic, both as a performance and a narrative as I understood. More to be digged. Here is the link for the explanation.
Andthis is the mp3 of this work which sounds quite interesting.
That’s all for now.