Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum

To see design more clearly, sprinkle tormented
gibberish across the page, flouring a countertop

so dough can be flattened without sticking.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur,

adipisci velit. The letters are a page. To a reader,
they signify Your name here, a story about the work

you do, about all you have accomplished.
In these pretty words, breath and boundary.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Blah blah
blah reverberating. It is sweet and becoming

to erect paragraphs, cardboard cut-outs standing
in for architecture. Don’t lean on that column,

or look too closely at this text. It is only here
to protect us from silence, to invoke the pretense

of grace, greeked. What can fill this lonely room?
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit,

nonsense, scissored Cicero loosely translated as
There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks

after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain.
A most versatile text. Embroider it on dust ruffles,

print it on potpourri. Spell it out in refrigerator magnets
and on exposed beams. Use its invocation to decorate.

Design something for your reader, and in the meantime,
let them see the exquisite potential of your project.

Murmur it into their cheek, the spine of a book,
a page: lorem ipsum, this is what we build with.

Note: this poem owes much to this article from The Straight Dope.


  1. This is one that I just have to read a few times! It brings me back to working with designers, and the white-beige I always felt.

  2. I am going to reread this...every time I read latin inserted in scientific texts I get strong emotions that are not necessarily complementary towards the writer ...isn't that funny? I ask why use latin, use spanish or dutch or whatever, why not mesopotamian? Another lovely poem rock! xoxo

  3. This is wonderful, Hannah.

    Just the other day I came across a blog whose writer forgot to delete the gibberish. It did make for interesting reading among all the English words.

  4. I memorized those filler Latin phrases when I learned to type!

  5. I love the contrast between this and the one that follows. The slightly narrower lines here, with the emphasis upon end-stopped lines, and the excerpts of the Lorem ipsur texts make for a poem that is a lot more clipped, a lot drier, so to speak, but not so dry that it is dessicated and cannot be chewed.

    One of the results is a deeper defamiliarisation of the Latin text itself, resulting in, in effect, a bicameral poem, one largely familiar (the English text), one alien and potentially alienating (the Latin text).

    I love waking up each morning and wondering what facet of your voice I will have the pleasure of hearing that day.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this. For the first time, I actually read that "tortured gibberish" and enjoyed the sound of it mixed in with your words.

  7. Hannah, I loved this poem (especially because I'm a designer who's used Lorem ipsum all her life) and then went and read the article - whoa! It actually does mean something!

  8. This is mindblowing, both your writing and the image. Bravo.


The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.