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Noticing what has changed


the way you incline 

towards the volcano

slope to the right, a fire 

whenever you don’t look


averted eyes like fuel 

feed the flames

the sequence of movement


all secret though not well kept

besides things have to get done


whatever it takes 

to hold back the lava


one morning a bird entered

a welcome swallow, clearly lost

its flight diverted

into another world by mistake


unlucky symbol 

though I’ve never been superstitious

why start now


it finally found the way out

a reminder of how 

fast things change


it isn’t just because it’s cold 


I can’t face another

lost bird 

the soft whoosh of breath

deeper now

this magma meditation

sending back


your mantle plume, your scars

Magdalena Ball is a novelist, poet, reviewer and interviewer, and is the editor of Compulsive Reader (  She has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and is the author of several published books of poetry and fiction, including most recently the novel Black Cow, and the poetry book Unmaking Atoms (forthcoming, Ginninderra Press).  



first breath

last breath

in-between, sigh

Laura De Bernardi

Cup This Runneth Over

What is this this - this 
Urge Urged Urging:
Wording Worded Word This,
Why, What, Where, When, and
Who this
This; This
Noun this, Verb this,  Pronoun this; this
Predicate restriction this - 
Paratax, Provocate, Denotate:
This thising this
This poesies thising
This it this,
It, This it this
Adverbially thisally thisiallyinging:

OK!  enough of this thising. The point is:

THiS iS ModPo!

This dedication of gratitude is for everyone involved with ModPo. After a few finale, but not too finale, words, we, "Spread wide our narrow hands." 

David Bender 

Laundry day poem


I renewed my subscription to Poetry

because it was half price. I still haven't 

read the volumes from two years ago.

They end up in the laundry room, discarded,


donated to neighbors. Some issues remain 

in their wrappers - it's hard to write poetry 

and read it at the same time. Think 

my next writing project will be a novel.


Of course, nothing is more fun 

than composing haiku in Twitter. Well, 

maybe Periscope might be interesting - 

real time, live, in color, and direct to the reader. 


Can you feel my pulse between the lines?

Does the flow of words make any sense at all?


Raymond Maxwell​

ModPo Acrostics


My nights are spent in front of a small screen

Over Walt Whitman, Ginsberg, or Ms Stein,

Decyph'ring lines well known or yet unseen,

PennSound decanting voices like sweet wine.


O Poetry, what is your secret? Speak—

Inspire my sleepless nights, my dreamlike days,

So keen am I to close-read every week,

So happy when I have to write essays!


Unhinged be all your windows and your doors—

Come—show me all the treasures of your Realm,

Hidden between the walls, under the floors—

For—This—I know: a line may overwhelm,


Unbalance, shock, dissemble or disclose—

No matter what it does—It is not Prose!





the afterlife was hard to take

I’d been reborn so many times since then

Once a satyr

met the sphinx

lunched with Da Vinci

ran guns with Girabaldi

you know the drill


I refuse to believe in reincarnation

though the furniture’s been here for three thousand years

cause I stub my toe in all the same places

and have reinvented the wheel so many times

Pythagoras ran me out of town

when I told him it could never be round enough

that fiction requires a vacuum

and no place is leak proof

least of all

ancestral palaces

teeming with ghosts, cracked tiles, and priceless carvings

the best were taken to Berlin by slaves

what did they want to lay claim to?

didn’t they know you can never go back

no matter how many times you’re reborn?

yet my aged toes look younger each time

and I can almost make a perfect crepe now

while this kitchen in its immensity

holds too many cooks to count

but eventually I’ll become them all


Denny Stern

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