Really System is a brand new journal that publishes solely poetry, offering up four issues a year and seeking “new, interesting writing that exhibits a keen awareness of the forms, patterns, and channels through which we find ourselves connected with other people, other things, other worlds.”
In this first issue, Erin Dorney contributes two poems. In “Left,” she repeats the phrase “I left” over and over to carry the poem along and build energy. The images are unique and the sounds delightful to the ear:
I left my blanket in the backseat of your car.
I left my feather in gate 2B of the airport.
I left my nail polish in your mouth,
my sewing machine in the mall—
I left my bobby pins on the pier.
Left my willpower on your sweating neck,
my collarbone on the front porch—
And as much as I enjoyed “Left,” I appreciate even more Dorney’s poem “This is Not a Poem About Fast Food,” written in prose format. It’s a delicate little moment that triggers the narrator to finally cry, and later she dreams that her body is “chicken being eaten—first my breast, then my elbows, then the soft spot behind my wrist where I can still feel the stroke of your fingers,” she writes.
Rose Swartz pushes her poem forward by starting each line with a word beginning with Q, tackling words such as quisling, qualmy, and quadrille. And Dan Boehl’s “excerpts from Whatever from @emoemoji” certainly uses some experimental choices as the stanzas are spread out left to right on the page, each line only a word (or occasionally two).
Really System is a great read for those who are interested in the less traditional form of poetry, for those hungry for something a little different, something that stands out.