Category Archives: Derivative Works

#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

#RemixReallySystem piece by Kelly Nelson

Here is Kelly Nelson’s #RemixReallySystem piece, based on these words.  Kelly Nelson’s poems My Uncle at Nineteen and His Mother Writes the Warden, 1955 appeared in Issue Three.

Three Falling Outs

toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together
toes traveled together nation dri

poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping
poetic particles stepping

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Kelly Nelson‘s poems My Uncle at Nineteen and His Mother Writes the Warden, 1955 appeared in Issue Three.  She is the author of the chapbook Rivers I Don’t Live By (Concrete Wolf Press, 2014). Her poems published here were created from her uncle’s 500-page prison record and are part of a book-length found poetry project supported by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her found poetry has also appeared in Verbatim, Found Poetry Review and NonBinary Review. She teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University.



Really Sypsum is a Lorem Ipsum generator populated with words & phrases found in Really System issues 1 through 5

If you are in need of text, Really System can help. Announcing Really Sypsum, a dummy text generator based on the work that has appeared in Really System issues 1-5.


Use this text to fill your empty publication designs, your essay assignments, your love letters, your journals, your dreams. Each paragraph is chock full of Really System goodness, fresh from the genius contributors to our first year’s worth of issues.

From the the official press release:

It puckers against my graying meat, a pact. The new mayor ventriloquized regions or remember 8-Track tapes meaningful. Morse Code messages what isn’t having a harbinger of evil fool. Spidering idle morning lights rondeau isn’t cooking and food and culture bridges. Quick as a month or minute plumbing being woozy, reeling ashtray.

A cassette in a tape player which was mercury. Fire equals ouch by hip. Imagine this guys worst identified isn’t woozy, reeling century. Quick as a month or minute w which was whales, parrots, corvids, grieve skeletons, our country club manners, fish eyes, pickled calf feet, puppy ears was advanced. The Eeyore of journalists now hips. A synthesizer kills cassettes were an occasional fantasia whispered bugged. Continuum & waiving exemptions, I reports of to catch his voice going, now walk back you live at all in cast. The burning memory of mercenary alms at pretended. Would a member of beauty go to hell had is they leave a guy alone jim.

This RS_Labs project is based on an adaptation of James Stuckey Webber’s custom Lorem Ipsum generator Menno Ipsum, the original code for which can be found here on GitHub. I haven’t modified much, but have plans to add tools for making stanzas and lines rather than prose paragraphs. So, treat this like a work in progress.

Of all of the Lorem Ipsum examples I found, I liked Menno Ipsum one the most because it accommodates a massive word list, which is sourced at random, along with an additional list of phrases that preserve certain word groupings from the original poems. Also, it should be able to grow gracefully as the corpus increases in size.

There are dozens of other approaches, though, including the original Lorem Ipsum, , Delorean Ipsum, Hipster Ipsum, and many, many more.

The word and phrase lists were updated to include the text of Issue Five February 8, 2015.

these hanging to betamax caroline (Issue Three, Sonnetized)

[be gravestones eventually hot air more]

be gravestones eventually hot air more
dresses as current from as lit
damp yellow idle my blonde before
electric left allen heart and shit
cora obviate needs light absorbed he
if said she of the trees
for love trombone the it we
have children since through them extremities
graveyard him humanity carry woozy gleaming
where thinks now subscribed the might
one she we men is steaming
a building setting word equals midnight
faces up marriage lights myself marcel
great go bits i of well

Thanks to Metafilter projects, I recently became aware of Ross Goodwin’s Sonnetizer— an application he’s written in Python to create metrical, rhyming sonnets from any corpus of text. Naturally, he published a book of 10000 new Shakespeare sonnets (co-authored by the Bard himself). It’s pretty magnificent.

Anyway, I had some fun generating sonnets from the text of the issues of Really System (and from the combined text of all three) and sharing them on Twitter yesterday (for example: [february it’s melody quinine]; [to and if those girls this]; [you inaccessible glitter all be]). I’m going to keep playing around with this, and I’ll probably include some in the Really System Print Annual I should have out early next year. But, since we are mere days after the release of Issue Three: Alertly Messy, I wanted to share several sonnets generated just from that issue. They’re super fun to read aloud.

The first several are from a randomized corpus of every word in Issue Three, the final two are from the verbatim issue, line by line. You can tell the difference– the last two keep some phrases whole, which is something interesting to poke under the sonnetizer hood to investigate.

[bound to ready wax with and church for please]

bound to ready wax with and church for please
semester the i ephemeral gray
remember talks to cracked half that a keys
as ca i shadow music yesterday
sea minutes you allowing up and day
for lo girl bottom was girls equals go
murky from hoarding claimed close frogs me gray
furnace stained eye to knockout have hugh know
switch continued tiny tell tall away
their them spatter under apogee when
are uncles able if descend throes they
lost oyster a my like but that crate men
for lights the becomes excoriate i
relations did liquor fiery sky

[these treatment after an inside and blonde]

these treatment after an inside and blonde
of pool green although black it anvil all
and time that le i writes night and beyond
complaints reform armored dynamite tall
with that of girls cartilage my the knew
i gallows lewis collective he hat
takes and in is no luis through into
a wanted my carrying index chat
a thirty bag distance at crease am spine
sea a howl and dire the midnight but he
these hanging to betamax caroline
new congratulated the suddenly
very her found they noticed hat a how
concerning the dense i spatial fund now

[pebble where thinks now subscribed me]

pebble where thinks now subscribed me
in one she we men that
a building setting word equals tiny
faces up marriage lights myself vat
middle great go bits i worry
her fade the is is you
resting its unity to in fiery
threat headline if get fuck do
century have to of chest made
of the any meaning flexing away
architecture of presents been amid stayed
to duchamp for class captain yesterday
sinks it is his whale throes
salt but do missive its hose

[writers gorge yesterday of how her]

writers gorge yesterday of how her
drag musing alerts obsolete dogs grade
weapon axis life dying the feuer
widgets far never sure stayed stayed
would real hope tea this home
dim and good ablaze a know
in the edited child tacit chrome
barometric episode three of frogs orlando
road i a weekly skeletons it
conference nineteen sphere and to grass
doolittle her protest all scroll shit
in reached have you flash glass
me your bought emmett crave lungs
our not pearl to or tongues

[seem in wool of ship mayor used your whale]

seem in wool of ship mayor used your whale
of exaggerated of endings chair
american shall note at that the sale
some at i nothing heaven warming flare
can to other charles i salt form its are
as angers had coming cigarette her
night of another and fuck who lumbar
think if slips ever to the his after
hope started an the to finger the play
called see exit salmon night lights lumbar
to guy among hull ones the yesterday
he the say have a balancing bizarre
she primed windshield my welcome steer folklore
have dust what you his ’til know sugar shore

[that flash warning stay away from men how]

that flash warning stay away from men how
in a boat called love the lights dissolve time
one thirty years in a leather chair now
worlds witnessing wonders a light goes climb
lock the door three children grown lucky am
chat a two word text a skinny three fade
into murky waters crumpled slips lamb
does not suit our present needs we wish stayed
placing your light flickers the harbor sat
point to guide no yellow light to flash that
dim shadow on the shore the stubbed out chat
of death before death the gray whale sinks chat
the bottom harbor poseidon among
her uncles would not have fought shadow young

[flux only in hospitality its]

flux only in hospitality its
accidental architecture begun
to i as a child i am sure widgets
you were taught that fire that fire equals son
your mother tapping into your wrists sake
of your i can flick and switch through never
this static almanac but for the snake
me i can not remember whatever
me how to play with as if yesterday
and i am there as if it were the day
before my cheeks are still warm from the way
across the street disintegrated play
absorbed by its heat ephemeral that
it could do i think that i would fume chat