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ModPo & Experimental Poetry

Dance moves Dance


Fingers can`t not twitch. Palms sense the percussion. Feet feel toes wriggle. And soles and calves and thighs soak up the vibration, from the soul of it.

Knees take off. Elbows mock them. Shoulders pick it up and go mad, rolling, rolling ... Ah yes, we know this. The breath joins in. This is easy!

Hips counter the shoulders. And do their shimmy.  'Hip bone connected to the thigh bone - dem bones - dem bones -' brain remembers. What does the music want?

Eyes soft, chance a look. What are the others doing?  That`s a good one. Face dares to share. Throat has a deep urge to shout out. This is the best thing ever!

Here's the head. Don't let it spoil it. Back of the neck, shake it, shake it hair.  Feel the rattle bones and roll.

Womb resounds with the drums, resonates with breasts content to wobble. And balls, too, if you had them. Don`t stop us now.

Heart thinks it`s the beat. Tongue panting happily, needs restraining. Backbone pleasures itself. Sweat is salty and sweet enough.

The body knows the tune.

Jac Shortland is a Cork woman. Her work has been published in a diversity of journals (including Better than Starbucks with her haiku) and anthologies and she has been shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize 2017. Her poems reflect the mind of a woman who hasn't made her mind up about any of life`s mysteries and most likely never will.

Elemental Signs





Pump station      

Waterfall cave     

Danp amber          

Artesian lift            


A river                       





Surface swells      

Power upsurge    

Wave heaves          

The earth                  


Sky fire                  

Flood purge          

Cloud rollers       

Wind driven rain 

Word thunders      

 Electric light           

New life                     




Soul current            

3 part harmony      

Song  vibrates air 

    Living waters



Our second Experimental poet has also been published in our haiku section, in July of this year!


MistyRose™ poetry is published in 4 hard-cover anthology books at the United States Library of Congress and in academic journals.  She is the only accepted "Spoken Word Artist" in the state of Oklahoma on the Poets & Writer's Directory.

She was the Featured Guest Poet in 2014 at Odd Thursday Houston.

Better than Starbucks began wholly as a creation in my mind. Now the wonderful collaboration of six dedicated editors is creating a monthly magazine that I could have only dreamed about when I was starting out as a one person organization.


Having said that, there are no direct connections between U Penn, Al Filreis, KWH (Kelly Writers House), ModPo (Modern & Contemporary American Poetry), or any of the actual affiliated programs to ModPo and this magazine, other than I have been a part of ModPo for several years now. There is, however, a strong spiritual and intellectual connection between BTS and ModPo.


If I had not gotten involved in the larger community of ModPo, I don't think I would have restarted a literary publication. I am certain I would not have added a Formal & Rhyming Page, and probably not a Translations page. I have a pretty narrow preference for poetry, but the course and the people at ModPo have expanded my view of poetry to the point that I decided if I could find good people to help me do it, we would make BTS as broad of a source of styles and genres as possible. We have been fortunate to establish a team of talented editors and are in the process of an ever expanding quest to find poetry wherever it may be.

Thus, it seems fitting that we dedicate a page to my fellow students at ModPo, and/or anyone who wants to share experimental poems. The thing about experiments is, they often fail, but as the point is to learn, not to create perfection, even failed experiments in the lab or on this page, will offer something for us, if we will find it. and when the experiment doesn't fail... well, you will see! - Anthony Watkins




(Tune of France’s Marseillaise briefly ;)

(Audio: Never on Sunday - A glory’s pride of Mexican)

VISUAL: Tattered French flag M

            (Audio: In surprise, translated its hallowed rejection)

VISUAL: Fresh historical Mexican flag O

            (Audio: Discarded marine carcass over which to row)

VISUAL: White fish skeleton floats on violet wave

            (Audio: Surrendered to drift, the yet to be valued roe)

VISUAL: Sistine hand of God palm-up holds match.

             Match flame touches vertical bones.

(Audio: A perfect match dimly seeks un-tossed navigation)

VISUAL: Reversal Time Order : White fish bone re-composition

VISUAL: White water foam erases violet color of water tossing waves.

VISUAL: From white blur refocus shows fat pure white Easter/Wedding rectangle candle

            with a Violet-color flower garland just below square lip

(Audio: If One can peel the circling of plasma passion)

VISUAL: Silver blade only visible trimming wax edge to make ready to erode and make round that fresh candle

(Audio: Day of the Dead deems all live a way from doom)

VISUAL: Sistine-like but palm-up hand of God holds a match, Then lights that huge candle

(Audio: There, a candle’s heart light shares more room)

VISUAL: Light from the candle enables pan-out view

            (Audio: A smoking hot image wavers, not pure white.)

(Sound Effect: Distant Cannon or musket-fire volleys)

VISUAL: Quick flames overtake a French Flag over a dead body

(Audio: Extinguished grey charcoal held filter blight)

VISUAL: Flame out seems to show just coals left.

(Sound Effect: Distant Cannon or musket fire volleys)

VISUAL: But focus indicates not coals. They formed a blood-red garland around bottom of that candle

(Audio: Drip-less wax softened untrue to form – its reminder)

VISUAL: Vertical white rectangle candle soften narrows its middle to become a sandglass hourglass shape,

VISUAL: Visible glass reflects view of a long red hair cute robed lady – akin to U.S. Statue of Liberty gift from France)

VISUAL: Her pretty and young face ages to wrinkled (but does not decompose).

VISUAL: It seemed to have been a reflection curved outside the hourglass.

But clarity shifts/morphs apparent that she is/became trapped inside – no longer a reflection.

VISUAL: Her hands are up to her hair in enticing bent elbow pose

(Sound Effect: Distant Cannon or musket-fire volleys)

VISUAL: Then her hair starts falling out (like cancer patients)

(Audio: Wicked ash, still liquid pools -- a flame-out remainder)

VISUAL: Her hair falls across her hands. It crumbles & runs through her fingers like volcanic ash or red sand.

VISUAL: Camera scans downward as sand continues through narrow area of hourglass past her cinched waist.

VISUAL: The sand/ash pools and liquefies like blood filling up around her ankles inside the hourglass

(Audio French-born wounded petal mess)

VISUAL: Outside of the hourglass is a garland composed of red coal embers.

(Contrast to the violet grave-flowers ring that was near the top of the candle)

(Sound Effect: Distant Cannon or musket-fire volleys)

VISUAL: Some coals morph to look like petal shapes. Some of the petal shapes are similar to the fish shape.

(Audio: Won’t miss worth of kinetic readiness)

VISUAL: The coals now vibrate with colors of red & black & violet.

(Audio: Stilted mouth strains nostrils in generous receptor)

[Visual was not but becomes snorting/ugly for contrast dichotomy]:

VISUAL: Pan upward close-up of that now old and tired face inside the hourglass

(Audio: For fragrance that only He follows from her)

VISUAL: Pan up to stream of smoke wafting from burning candle wick.

Following path of white smoke, pan-out to weeds where another dead body lies that was not cremated. It wears a crisp officer’s Mexican uniform

(Audio: Pull the weeds that block faith’s fence)

VISUAL: Watch the uniform and body quickly decompose until only the bleached white bones show.

Close-up on ribcage from an angle of view that bears a similar shape as the fish skeleton did.

[Note this end scene is decomposition, but fish opener was re-composition or time reversal.

[The Visual’s plot realized its ending tragedy for which consequences continue into real-time]

VISUAL: The weeds around this exposed skeleton surround neglected grave headstone with engraved Cross.

(Sound Effect: Hear the hollow sound of toads singing in a fog.)

VISUAL: Hand of God (now palm-down) reaches/points down

(Audio: Then Kiss the frog oh vigilant prince)

VISUAL: Roll in the white mist of a fog (akin to candle-smoke or cannon battle-smoke.)


Sometimes California or the March Set
by Anthony Watkins
Silent Poems
by Anthony Watkins
 Games Poets Play
by ModPo Students
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