Category Archives: Issue Two

TYPE BLEEDS TENTACLES, a #RemixReallySystem piece by Magus Magnus

Issue #2‘s Magus Magnus created a mesostic poem, TYPE BLEEDS TENTACLES, using words from this chunk of text from Really System.

Click here to read TYPE BLEEDS TENTACLES. There is also a link to Magus reading the work on that page.

Here is Magus’s statement about the piece:

When my assigned word list came to me from Really System, I was still under the influence of a 3-hour “performance installation” I did with poets Christophe Casamassima and Chris Mason in Baltimore’s Litmore poetry library March 28th (our “Polyphonic Readings and Harmonic Listening” of four Cage texts for States and Drives II: Responses to John Cage at Litmore). During the performance, I became especially fascinated by what Cage’s specialty with the mesostic form on the page provoked off the page. So I thought I’d give the form a try here, both on the screen and vocally. It helps that a mesostic poem should be composed of found text, yet with liberty for authorial impulse.

The first two stanzas are basic, or classic, mesostic — “classic,” yet also described as “impure” by those who keep strict tabs on the form’s rules. The capital letters form the spine of the mesostic, and incidentally, the title — taken from three words on the assigned list. It took two iterations to incorporate each of the list’s words into the spine; thus, two stanzas.

The third stanza, based on the first, is a 50% mesostic, according to purists: between any two capital letters, the second letter should not appear. A process of erasure compounded itself, gaps backing up upon the gaping.

The fourth stanza, based on the second, is a 100% mesostic: between any two capital letters, neither the first nor the second letter should appear.

I make no claim for the strictness or purity of any of this.

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 Jude Marr

Here is Jude Marr’s #RemixReallySystem piece for April, inspired by this chunk of text.

[in] and out

[d]rum [f]in[gers] [g]lint

bar[n] [inci]dent

[f]all [in]sects [di]sin[tegrated]

[re]cord [st]ate [c]lear[ance]

[e]rad[icate] man[ners]

ex[clude] [caro]line content[ious]

pill[ed] [pl]aid [sh]or[e]

[pi]rat[es] [sp]arse

[f]air glut[en]

per[haps] [w]ay

Jude Marr‘s poems adrift & flight— appeared in Issue Two.  Originally from Scotland, she is currently a teaching fellow at Georgia College, where she has recently completed a poetry MFA. Jude’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Cortland Review, r.kv.ry., Black Heart Magazine, and Cider Press Review, among others. She is also an assistant editor at Ghost Ocean.

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.

Poet by Poet: Sounding Out Issue Two

I’ve had some interesting feedback on the auralization of Issue One, so I decided to play around with the idea a little bit with the text of Issue Two. Here’s the full thing, poems all synched to the beginning:

Again, it’s kind of a hypnotic mess, but you hear some space there in the middle where the three pieces of Magus Magnus’s Payload Dump all align.  That part seems appropriately garbled and sterile, given the numerical & tactical subject matter. That got me thinking about layering individual poets’ poems from the issue to see what happens. Here are a few:

KJ Hannah Greenberg’s two poems from Issue Two

Aimee A. Norton’s two poems from Issue Two:

Jude Marr’s two poems from Issue Two:

Bill Neumire’s two poems from Issue Two:

Issue Two in Numbers

There are 19 pieces in Issue Two with a total of 3,765 words and 1,753 unique words by 15 poets.

Longest pieces (by words ): Payload Dump (1,157), The Sanctity Of Lists (260).

Shortest pieces: adrift (36), flight (54)

Highest vocabulary density (total words /  unique words): adrift (888.9), Assistance with Quickly Becoming Unbearable (886.2).

Lowest density: Translations of an Algorithmic Love Poem (466.7), Payload Dump (474.5).

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