Category Archives: Contributors

ISSUE NINE BY THE NUMBERS: 11 poets, 13 poems, 3,422 words

The numbers are in! 3422 total words in the 13 poems in Really System Issue Nine: Y’all Reset My S. 1,176 of those words were unique.

The most common words in the issue (after removal of Torporware stopwords): horse (38), good (33), like (23), love (18), don’t (11). “Like” has been in the top 10 most frequent words in nearly every issue. Like wow.

Longest pieces: from Good Horse (1,768 words), The Poet’s Ancient Cursor (352 words). Alejandro Escudé, author of The Poet’s Ancient Cursor, had the longest piece in Issue Five with A Proper Pressurized Blast. Go read that.

Shortest Pieces: Deconstruction VI (52 words), Afterglow (77 words)

Highest vocabulary density (total words / unique words): Afterglow (922.1), My Husband Grows a Rose Hybrid with No Thorns (884.6). Both by Tammy Robacker!

Lowest vocabulary density (total words / unique words): from Good Horse (259.6), Vapor Trail (542.2).

Most of the five most distinctive words in the issue are thanks to Sarah B. Boyle’s Before You Look at the Plan, Ask Yourself: 1: ſuch (3), againſt (2), ſo (2), think (2), almoſt (1)

#RemixReallySystem piece by Lea Galanter

Here is Lea Galanter’s contribution to #RemixReallySystem, based on the words in this text file.

William’s Dilemma

The skies that once existed laughed at William’s
plastic poems, though he tried to bury them
before he was forced to leave his nontraditional Dylan summer.
Theory can only be proper in raging hell
the Hydra said, so harbor your trivial tasks
deep in the purple point of possibility.

Not being good enough, he started running
down the fairy lane, passing flats of sparkling peach marmalade,
unable to withstand their allure.

Soups steaming in ancient ovens
whispered womanly wisdom into his mouth, saying
escape this foreign rhetoric, flee this red-eyed threat.
You are not putty that can widen the fetid horizon,
dissolving into black, and the physician cannot relate
to the lyrical falsehoods they fabricate in Korea.

Go now to that chapel in the Roman market
which vainly waits for clairvoyant July to bring
brightness to the immortal tombs.


Lea Galanter’s poem When Lost in the Woods appeared in Issue One.  She is a Seattle-area editor and writer. After playwrighting for many years, she ventured into writing poetry and has studied with several Seattle-area poets. She also has a background in theater, and has studied voice and performed onstage in Seattle. She is president of the board of DramaQueen, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting women playwrights.

5 #RemixReallySystem Images from Susan L. Lin

Here are Susan L. Lin’s #RemixReallySystem pieces, handmade anagrams of words from this list of randomly-selected Really System text.

remix really system 1

remix really system 2

remix really system 3

remix really system 4

remix really system 5


Susan L. Lin’s poem When You Are Sleeping appeared in Issue Two. She completed her MFA in Writing at California College of the Arts, where she spent her days photographing toy dinosaurs and eating pie. Her novella Goodbye to the Ocean was a semifinalist in the 2012 Gold Line Press chapbook competition. Her short prose recently appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review,Ghost Town, Midway Journal, MadHat Annual, and Gravel.

#RemixReallySystem piece by Geramee Hensley

Below is Geramee Hensley’s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on this stack of fine words from ReallySystem 1-5.


The Island & how we pray to be known

What a sight! The cellophane plane crashed like a swoon of systems failure.

What an impatient way to fall.

This half-formed beach has corvids instead of sand. On the edge of the gulf we scoop grammar into buckets.

Somebody says “we need to obtain a name” for the rhyme and sake of it. All these waves of syntax and not a single name.

Looking, we take torches into the forest. Instead of trees, fifty-year-old memories larger than death.

In this aura of negotiable intent, we tire. Tongues fumble for words to obviate our mouths of this hot silence.



Geramee’s process note: The first word on my list was plane. I immediately thought of Lost. I went from there. I knew that I wanted to include every single word and make this as short as possible. I also used all the words in their original form. I didn’t want to do any kind of conjugation/pluralization and wanted to use the words as is. I enjoyed the challenge of trying to take this list of words and get them all into something relatively short and tight. 

Geramee Hensley’s poem November is an anagram for fishhook appeared in Issue Five.  He is from Cleveland, Ohio. He attends Capital University where has taught a portion of a creative writing class. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the student literary magazine, ReCap and Managing Editor for the student newspaper, The Chimes. His work has been featured in Souvenir Lit Journal, Melancholy Hyperbole, The Harpoon Review, and is forthcoming in JAB.

4 #RemixReallySystem pieces by Miho Kinnas

Click here to read four 4-point poems by Miho Kinnas, based on words from this random selection of Really System text.

The 4-point form was developed by Miho’s friend and collaborator Shelly Bryant.

Miho Kinnas’s poem Earlobes appeared in Issue Four. She is a 2012 cohort of the City University of Hong Kong MFA program in Poetry. Her first book of poems, Today, Fish Only is due to be published in mid-2014 from Math Paper Press of Singapore. She now lives in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

#RemixReallySystem piece by Taunja Thomson

Taunja Thomson’s image-based #RemixReallySystem piece, built from these words.

Taunja Thomson - Part 1 - The Declined

Taunja Thomson - Part 2 - We Decline

Taunja Thomson - Part 3 - Bell

Taunja Thomson’s poem Skull, My Former appeared in Issue Five. Her work has appeared in The Cincinnati Poets’ Collective, The Cincinnati Poetry Review, and The Aurorean. Her poem “Seahorse and Moon” was nominated for the Pushcart Award in 2005. Several of her poems will be featured in the summer and spring editions of The Cahaba River Journal, as well as in winter issues of Squalory, Lime Hawk Journal, and Wild Age Press.


J. Bradley‘s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on this set of words:

Yelp Review – Medieval Times

You will draw a moat of seduction around salt and pepper shakers using only animal grease, skin. Worry not of errant lance shards seeking to pacify you. Worry not how the beer refracts your intentions. Worry what you look like when the photos protect this moment from revision.



J. Bradley’s poems Yelp Review: Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando & Yelp Review: The Milk Bar appeared in Issue Three.  He is the author of the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), with art by Adam Scott Mazer. He lives at


Here is the second installment of Terry Wolverton‘s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on this pile of words.

Become silver
I’m looking for alchemy. I want to transmute myself from flesh into precious metal. I want to increase my market value. I want to be around for hundreds of years, needing nothing more than a little polish once in a while. Fingers will caress my surface, eyes will appraise me. I would be able to dress up any occasion. I would be hard and shiny instead of withered and sickly. I would be able to hold my head up high in any setting.

The last council
You’ll never get that group together again, not after what happened last night. We knew there might be friction, but we hoped some good might come of it.  Nobody expected the fat man to start throwing pies at the skinny lady, and for sure no one expected her to take off her pumps and start thwacking the tired hunchback on his head. That’s when the snakes were let loose, and this caused Elinore to pull the fire alarm. Unfortunately the mouse was trampled in the rush to escape.

Land opening into the east, there’s a bowl with hide sides on the west but the opening is to the east. I saw rabbits on the property and hawks flying overhead. There is no more land once you reach the Pacific Ocean, if you want to travel farther you have to go into space; that’s just what people want to do now, book a one-way trip into the stars. It costs all the money you have and more but where you’re going you won’t need money, no Walmart on Mars at least not yet it’s a sense of adventure that brought us here but now we’re pressed up against the edge and feeling hemmed in

Hardly fell
I meant to take a big leap so that I would descend until my consciousness funneled to a small dot and disappeared so that there would be no one left to feel the impact but I miscalculated and instead I just fell a short distance and all the time I was yelling at myself about this stupid mistake and when the sidewalk appeared underneath me my bones felt a most unpleasant sensation of shattering

Environment blooms
You’d think it would take the hint—we poison it, overpopulate it, store nuclear waste in its womb; we burn it; we siphon off all its water; we farm it until the topsoil is dust that blows into the wind; we overheat it; we buy and sell it as if it had no sentience. Still the environment produces. It’s as if it can’t help it. It loves us despite ourselves, and the worst we do, the more it tries to grow.

Buzz go
She’s driven by a kind of speed that comes from a supernatural source she can’t seem to stop herself and she’s always in motion. The light that shines from her eyes is not like the sun or the moon but like some kind of artificially generated wattage that makes you want to put on sunglasses or pull down the shades. There can be no darkness in her presence, only that relentless illumination that assaults the eye but doesn’t really shed light; it’s a demonic power.

I wouldn’t know how to measure the distance between the sun and the next nearest star. I figure if I needed to get to that star I would suddenly understand how to do it. I wouldn’t build a tin can and try to fly there.  I would dematerialize and travel as energy and then could go wherever I want. Earthlings can be so literal and it’s too bad because we miss a lot that way. Big numbers tend to give me a headache. I’m smart enough but not in that way.

Terry Wolverton’s Sizzle & Chew appeared in Issue One. She is the author of ten books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, most recentlyWounded World: lyric essays about our spiritual disquiet. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

#RemixReallySystem piece by Terry Wolverton (part 1)

Here is the first installment of Terry Wolverton‘s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on this pile of words.

Chase Mommy into the underground she’s tiny and can’t run very fast under the street it’s cool and dark and Mommy will take off her cape and the long black opera gloves she will not sing in this cave beneath the earth but she might tell stories if the hour gets late enough, she might confess to the unsolved crimes of the city or she might tell you where the bodies are buried all the little angels that never grew up they’re tiny too and they have the ability to foretell the future they wear tiny dresses with ribbons

Travel abuse
I told him I refused to stay in another goddamn Howard Johnson’s, not one more night with fried clams for dinner, not one more dream glowing turquoise and orange but now they are closing, one of the last three Howard Johnson’s is closing and I think of my grandparents and how I’d ride in the back seat of their Buick unmindful of my grandfather’s porn collection in the trunk, watching the dull landscape go by. I would miss them once I was back home and wish to listen to the wheels hum again.

Sonic disorder
That girl loved to sing but she had some kind of sonic disorder that made her sound like whales in space whenever she opened her mouth. We all tried to be nice because it made her really happy to let those notes out of her mouth but it was hard to encourage because our ears would start to bleed and our foreheads to melt. She sounded like she was juggling chainsaws and it made us afraid. Still, we didn’t want to hurt her feelings so mostly we’d just sit and weep.

Integrated flock
We weren’t sure we could get them all to get along, those birds of different feathers were used to mostly sticking to their own kind, but we thought it was worth a shot. We brought in the starlings and the magpies, the pigeons and the finches. We had big bags of seed as icebreakers and a spacious birdbath so they could hang. Norma thought there should be music, but we thought that was silly—birds are already musical, so she was voted down.

Happy Face
She told me I should wear my happy face but it was in the laundry. I had worn it the night of the eclipse and ended up spilling hot chocolate all over it. The engaged face had a big rip in it, and I’m about 900 years behind on my mending. The angry face was freshly laundered, but only because I bought three of them—identical—on sale last year. The morose face was another option, but it tends to make other people feel morose too.

Unconnected pictures
My therapist suggested I stop making so many unconnected pictures. She wanted me to try to find a thread to link one image to the next. But I told her this was how I saw the world—flash, flash, flash—like boxcards that had come unglued and spilled over the tracks. The picture of the house did not belong with the picture of the beach or the one of the mountain. Monday had no bond with Tuesday, each day a distinct universe like teeth set loose from my head.


Terry Wolverton’s Sizzle & Chew appeared in Issue One. She is the author of ten books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, most recentlyWounded World: lyric essays about our spiritual disquiet. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.

#RemixReallySystem piece by Douglas J. Luman

Here is Douglas J. Luman’s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on this chunk of text.

Deterioration as Philosophic Method: Grammatical Theory of Insubstantiality

after Rem Koolhaas

past radio tragic / to describe that light / o, beginning
of century / not fires, not / fade, hermetic shell / quiet
solipsism nests in spaces / tag at seams / sentences
p-i-n-e-s / we wept pretty


Note on process:

  1. The poem is a complete anagram of the words sent &
  2. Was found in Rem Koolhaas’ book Delirious New York (I’ve included the citation in Chicago format below)
  3. The title is from the letter pool as well, though not every letter is used in the title (only enough to get the piece to be cohesive)


Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. New York: Monacelli Press, 1994.


An excerpt of Douglas J. Luman‘s Star/formation appeared in Issue Four.  He is the Book Reviews editor for the Found Poetry Review, an intern at the Chicago School of Poetics, and an MFA candidate at George Mason University. He is sleeping in a library somewhere in Northern Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @douglasjluman, or at