Category Archives: Issue Four

#RemixReallySystem piece by Cathryn Cofell

Here is a vending-machine poem by Cathryn Cofell, based on a text file of words randomly selected from Really System issues 1-5.

Intent                                     negotiable                              half-formed
obviate                                  beach                                        memories
fifty year-old                      systems                                   as cellophane
name                                       as aura                                     as torch
engulfs you                          in swoon                                 falls
in hot                                       waves                                       larger than
plain                                         grammar                                obtained
death                                       tired                                          corvid



Cathryn Cofell’s poem Throb appeared in Issue Four. She is the author of Sister Satellite (Cowfeather Press) and six chapbooks, and performs her poems to the music of Obvious Dog on Lip. She serves on the WI Poet Laureate Commission and has helped launch Verse Wisconsin, the Fox Cities Book Festival and WFOP Chapbook Prize. Visit her at or on Twitter @CatCofell.

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 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

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.



Every period, comma, exclamation point, semi-colon, question mark, hyphen, and ellipsis  in Really System issues 1-5, in order, very large.

I’ve been working on some part-of-speech tagging of the corpus lately, and this is just an easy, silly byproduct of that… I realized it was easy to extract this, and even in the default html font, I love how it looks. I had already stripped quotation marks, colons, and m dashes out because of the processing I was doing, so those aren’t here.  Also, any apostrophes remain as parts of the words in which they are found with this tagger (the CLAWS tool), so those are absent as well. Looking forward to some POS stuff soon!

Epic poem slowly tweeted: “placid for song no virtue matters held”

Starting this evening, @ReallySystemBot, our little automatic friend, is tweeting out a 2,000-line epic poem entitled “placid for song no virtue matters held,” one rhyming couplet at a time for the next 2500 hours.

The poem is based on the randomized text of Really System Issues 1-5, broken into 10-syllable rhyming couplets using a modified version of Ross Goodwin’s python script.

I hope you enjoy this poem as it unfolds over the course of the next few months; it’s dripping with Really-System-ness, and I find it a joy to read.

Issue Four by the Numbers

There are 16 pieces in Issue Four with a total of 2,286 words and (1,216 unique) 17,268 characters, by 12 poets.

Longest pieces (by words ):Parachute (334); In the Basement of the Penal Colony, Version 2.3,  Rimbaud Remembers (316).

Shortest pieces:  [16901 – 17000] (68); [11601 – 11700]  (73).

Highest vocabulary density (total words /  unique words): MicroGod Schism Song (933.3).

Lowest density:Parachute (622.8).

Most frequent words in the issue (excluding stop words):

  • eyes (9)
  • like (7)
  • white (7)
  • air (5)
  • beneath (5)
  • time (5)