Detours Poem by Ralph Monday


Rounding the curve, halted by the SUV’s
emergency blinkers winking like some
Dis tower, I fell obediently in line as a
first grader in the cafeteria.

Head on collision, the officer said,
before directing me to the detour
ahead. Passing the crumpled car,
front shoved in like a monkey playing
accordion, I noticed the blanket covered
form loaded like a cord of wood
into an ambulance.

This one on a final detour from Sunday
morning church. But aren’t we all on
deviations, diversions?

Through the rain, the mist, the mountain
road, around one bend & an Amish
horse & buggy clattered on asphalt.
What detours awaited that black capsule?

Who could know. Detours.
Bypasses in time like a train switching

If I had detoured from the first love,
where would the train have taken me?
Not that moment, so not this minute.
Daughters instead of sons.
Dogs instead of cats.


What about your sidetrack?
you would have married
another & never went with
your wife to find her brother
three weeks dead sprawled in the
doorway halfway between the
bathroom & bedroom. You never
forgot the smell.

Or your sister who lost her rosary &
became a whore not a nun &
never met the suicide she would
have saved.


Like the Amish above who swerved
away from the 21st century, zigged instead
of zagged, found themselves in a 19th
century wormhole so that I would spy
them on this Sunday detour on a road with
many curves.

Ralph Monday is Professor of English at RSCC in Harriman, TN. Hundreds of poems published. Books: All American Girl and Other Poems, 2014. Empty Houses and American Renditions, 2015. Narcissus the Sorcerer, 2015. Bergman’s Island & Other Poems, 2021, The Book of Appalachia 2023, and a humanities text, 2018. Member Lincoln Memorial University Literary Hall of Fame. Twitter @RalphMonday Poets&Writers

Hollywood Woman A Poem by Sara L Russell 18th March 2023

She has had an illustrious lifestyle
and many well-earned accolades;
donates to some causes quite worthwhile
she has gongs and awards now, in spades.

Her mansion’s been featured in Tatler
in Mode Avantgarde and OK;
She’s been called a trooper and a battler
and she always has plenty to say.

But her face is a bone of contention
it is fixed in a permanent grin
from a facelift hauled too tight to mention
and too much Botox in her skin,

And her lips, in an unnatural rictus,
have a top lip that sticks out too far,
Yet she boasts how her surgeon could fix us
if we weren’t as poor as we are.

She goes to cafés with her ladies
all from the same era as she;
and their pooches are treated like babies
and given fresh truffles for tea;

And when she is smiling or laughing
The waiters recoil in sheer fright
For her terrible grin leaves them gasping
She’s like a cobra poised to bite;

and some of her friends look like harpies
and some of them look like vampires
and their eyeliner’s drawn on with sharpies
and they drink to lost loves and desires;

But they carry on laughing regardless
For they clothes-shop at Rodeo Drive;
They are diamonds of high grade and hardness,
though they look to be barely alive.


Sara L Russell aka pinkyandrexa

Sara Louise Russell, aka PinkyAndrexa, is a UK poet and poetry ezine editor, specialising particularly in sonnets, lyric-style poetry and occasionally writing in more modern styles. She founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it from 1998 to 2006, when she handed it over to Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide; Robin now runs it as Editor from Poetry Life & Times at this site.  Her poems and sonnets have been published in many paper and online publications including Sonnetto Poesia, Mindful of Poetry and Autumn Leaves a monthly Poetry ezine from the late Sondra Ball. Her sonnets also currently appear in the recently published anthology of sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. She is also one of the first poets ever to be published on multimedia CD ROMs, published by Kedco Studios Inc.; the first one being Pinky’s Little Book of Shadows, which was featured by the UK’s national newspaper The Mirror, in October 1999. (Picture link for Mirror article) Angel Fire. And the 2024 AI version of The Perils of Norris cartoon, by Sara L Russell using Canva Pro AI, Episode 1. The Perils of Norris featured from this site Poetry Life and Times

When the Messiah Comes poems from Aieka by Daniela Ema Aguinsky Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop


La foto de mi abuela el día de su casamiento

Sé que no lo deseabas
pero lo hiciste.
El buen chico judío asignado
no resultó
tan buen chico.

Pasé tu edad
no me casé con el mío.
Lo deje ir lejos
una noche de luna
en la terraza
tomó mi mano y dijo

no me gustan las chicas
con las uñas pintadas.

Las mías
eran rojas
y dejaban marcas
en las paredes de su intestino.

A veces recuerdo al goy
de la fábrica de máquinas de coser
gritaba tu nombre
en la cueva privada de su boca.

soprano de interiores
en una caja húmeda
durante un corte de luz

vos empezás a irte
yo recién estoy llegando. 


The photo of my grandmother on her wedding day

I know you didn't want to
but you still did.
The assigned good Jewish boy
did not turn out to be
such a good boy.

I am past your age
I didn't marry mine.
I let him get away
a moonlit night
on the terrace
he took my hand and said

I don't like girls
with painted nails.

were red
and left marks
on the walls of his intestine.

Sometimes I remember the goi*
from the sewing machine factory
he screamed your name
in the private cave of his mouth.

indoor soprano
a match
in a wet match box
when there is a fuse

you begin to depart
I'm just arriving.

* Goi (non Jewish boy)



Me tiré ácido
me raspé la piel
y me escribí encima.

Abajo quedaron huellas
los textos que no llegaron
al canon de mi existencia.

Que vengan los cabalistas
los estudiantes de Talmud
voy a desplegarme sobre la mesa,
una escritura sagrada.

Desnúdenme con cuidado
rastreen los indicios
discutan el estado original
de esta mujer borrada.



I threw acid on myself
scraped my skin
and wrote on it.

Traces were left below
the texts that did not make it
to the canon of my existence.

Let the Cabalists come
students of the Talmud
I'm going to spread myself on a table,
a sacred script

Undress me with care
track the signs
discuss the original state
of this erased woman.


Las copas están hechas para romperse

Lo sé
desde que mi abuela guardaba la vajilla
de su abuela, en un aparador especial
que nunca se abría
por lo delicadas que eran
esas copitas verdes de tallos finos como lirios
capacidad mínima, brillantes.

Nada ameritaba
de su estado decorativo
los nietos no le habíamos dado
una jupá, un compromiso, un nacimiento.
No le habíamos dado nada.

Pero mi abuela sabía mejor que nadie
que las copas
están hechas
para romperse:

van a quebrarse
mientras lavás los platos
o estallar contra el piso cuando levantás la mesa
un día que estás sobrepasada
o se le van a caer a tu nieta, dentro de veinte años,
cuando se mude sola a su primer departamento.

Van a resistir
como las personas viejas resisten
hasta quebrarse
un día cualquiera de sol.



I know
since my grandmother put away the crockery
of her grandmother, in a special sideboard
she never opened
because of how delicate they were
those little green glasses with thin stems like lilies
bright in miniature capacity 

Nothing was worth
disturbing them
from their ornamental state     
grandchildren hadn´t give her
a chuppah*, an engagement, a birth. 
We hadn't given her anything.

But my grandmother knew better than anyone
that glassware
are made to be broken

they are going to break
while you wash the dishes
or explode on the floor when you ´re clearing the table
stressed out
or your granddaughter will drop them in twenty years´ time
when she moves into her first apartment alone.

They will resist
as old people resist
until breaking
any sunny day.

* chuppah: a Jewish wedding


                Cuando venga el Mesías van a curarse todos los enfermos
                     pero el tonto va a seguir siendo tonto.
                      Refrán Idish

Cuando venga el Mesías

y reconstruyan el Tercer Templo
no quiero estar arriba
mirando a los hombres rezar
en círculos que cantan y bailan
mientras mujeres charlan
y chicos gritan.

Cuando venga el Mesías
no quiero estar arriba
con el humo de los sacrificios
abajo los sacerdotes entran
y salen como amantes
el nombre sagrado.

Cuando venga el Mesías
y todos retornemos a la tierra
quiero estar en la tierra de este mundo.


                   When the Messiah comes, all the sick will be cured.
                        but the fool will remain a fool.
                         Yiddish saying

When the Messiah comes

and they rebuild the Third Temple
I don't want to be above
watching men pray
in circles singing and dancing
while women chat
and children shout

When the Messiah comes
I don't want to be above
with the smoke of sacrifices
the priests entering below
and exiting like lovers
the sacred name.

When the Messiah comes
and we all return to earth
I want to be on the earth of this world.


Teléfono fijo

Mis papás me dieron un teléfono fijo
la línea está incluída dijeron
tenelo por las dudas
y quedó en el piso

cuando suena, rara vez
sé que son ellos
(nadie más tiene el número)
me siento en el sillón
espero tres tonos y atiendo

a veces una noticia terrible otras
una invitación para almorzar
lo único fijo este teléfono.



My parents gave me a landline
the line is paid for they said
keep it just in case
and it stayed on  the floor

when it rings, rarely
I know it's them
(no one else has its number)
I sit on the couch
I wait three rings and answer

sometimes terrible news other times
an invitation for lunch

The only fixed thing this phone. 

Daniela Ema Aguinsky (Buenos Aires, 1993) is a writer and filmmaker based in Argentina. She Directed the shorts Virtual Guard, Hurricane Berta, 7 Tinder Dates, and several others. She published Amante japonés, Aieka (2023) and Terapia con animales (2022) in Argentina, Mexico and Spain, book that won The National Poetry Prize Storni in 2021. She is also the spanish translator to the California based poet Ellen Bass; Todos los platos del menú (Gog & Magog, 2021). Twitter: laglu Instagram: laglus

Amparo Arróspide (born in Buenos Aires) is an M.Phil. by the University of Salford. As well as poems, short stories and articles on literature and films in anthologies and international magazines, she has published five poetry collections: Presencia en el Misterio, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar and En el oído del viento. The latter is part of a trilogy together with Jacuzzi and Hormigas en diaspora, which are in the course of being published. In 2010 she acted as a co-editor of webzine Poetry Life Times, where many of her translations of Spanish poems have appeared, she has translated authors such as Margaret Atwood, Stevie Smith and James Stephens into Spanish, and others such as Guadalupe Grande, Ángel Minaya, Francisca Aguirre, Carmen Crespo, Javier Díaz Gil into English. She takes part in poetry festivals, recently Centro de Poesía José Hierro (Getafe).
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at
You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

I Hate Authority and Other Poems by Peter Mladinic


Becoming Invisible

They moved from city to suburbs. They were
lost, gobbled up, in some dark downstairs
apartment, all you could see were walls.
It was like they’d stopped living, so much

a part of the city they were, and where they
moved wasn’t desolate, a little city, but not
theirs of five-story brick walls, cobbled hills.
I see his long coat and fedora, her pillbox

hat with the little veil. You opened a window
looked out at other windows, fire escapes,
brick walls across the street. All that
was gone when they made the move, his

suspenders, the scar from her operation.
This new place it was like they weren’t there.

Ed’s Manor Tavern

He’d been drinking at Ed’s and left alone.
His Pontiac failed to make the long turn,
toppled into a culvert, no seatbelts back
then, his leg smashed, half between Ed’s
and home, a Lorillard exec, heavyset, iron
gray hair, plaster cast, bulbous pitted nose.

On his breezeway soda bottles in wooden
crates, he couldn’t lift one then. I liked
the colors: lime orange strawberry black
brown red yellow, a rainbow of bottled sugar
in drab but sturdy crates delivered weekly
to his door. One color clear, like water.

Cape Man

Sal Agron was the Cape Man,
only he wasn’t a man. Sixteen,
he stabbed two teenagers

in ‘59, his story
in news pages spread on a stone floor.
Fish guts soaked the paper.

Robin’s gran cleaned trout.
On a breezeway
light shone through jalousies. Sal’s

dark pompadour crested his pale brow.
His long, straight nose led him astray.
Her hand turned the blade.

From the Old Country,
she came to the States
with her husband, lived with her

daughter, son-in-law,
two grandkids. I wonder if Sal,
in jail, left a daughter.

Under an oak Robin’s gran
taught me not to walk on my toes.
The brown bun threaded with gray

at the top of her head resembled a pin
cushion. Stout, she wore specs.
Her hands held long needles,

crocheting wool.
She sliced down skin, opening trout.
Their insides soaked Sal’s cape.

I Hate Authority

Parents teachers cops judges—
don’t like anyone telling me what to do.

Okay, moron. Consider,
no authority, no order. There’d be chaos.
Some desperate soul slits your throat
as you sleep,
steals the Timex
off your wrist as your blood runs
in the gutter.
Authority’s a good thing,
so long as its hand doesn’t reach so far
as to tell you
how to button your shirt or blouse
and what to read and eat.
You’re an idiot with your hatred
of authority. Then, some think
they can make you see and act differently.
They can’t. I’m sorry a parent
or just something in your DNA made
your bad attitude. Music,
drugs, bullying, neglect, poverty?
Your poverty of spirit I lack.
I’m superior. I’m an asshole.
I just don’t want someone barging in
and taking everything
and my life.

The Price Of Fame | Poem by Ray Miller

The Price Of Fame

I like to peruse the charity shops

at least once a week.

I once bought a book by Roger McGough

for only 40p.

Today I happened to find myself

inside Cats Protection;

there, between Drama and Mental Health

I spied a collection

of poetry written by local bards

and the CD we recorded,

plus Ian McMillan, John Cooper Clarke.

But, could I afford it?

It sold for ten pounds when first published;

poets got one free.

My ex has thrown mine in the rubbish –

jealous, obviously.

I was just about to check out the cost

then thought, should I leave it?

If I take this volume from the shop

no-one else will read it.

I said to the girl at the counter, Look,

as I fished for money,

I’ve a couple of poems in this book

and one’s very funny.

Are you famous then? Show me which are yours.

I turned to the page;

there were complicit smiles, a few guffaws –

you should be on the stage!

I could tell her about the pressure

performing Spoken Word.

A recitation might impress her,

but I’ve lost my nerve.

I say, I ought to get this book for free

seeing as I’m in it.

She finds the price, it’s just 30p:

thus am I diminished.