A Mantis’s Prayer A Poem by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

A Mantis’s Prayer
In a devout moment
he beseeches Allah
that he not lose his head
over this new woman
Yet he knows
he could easily be damned
She’s bigger than him
and stronger
He knows the life worth living
that his brain controls inhibition
while a ganglion in his abdomen
controls the motions of copulation
Absent his head
he will lose self-consciousness and
consummate his relationship with wild abandon
No more Fuck me! Harder! Fuck me rigid!
None of that will be necessary if she eats his head
But Allah has heard his prayer
and has fed his new mate smaller
less significant insects before their
so she leaves him his head
He fucks her royally
and feels satisfied
She is also fulfilled
and feels warm glimmers of compassion
She snuggles up against him
and they doze together
in the high green grass
that so completely matches their bodies
Then, not tempting fate
he slowly and quietly disengages himself
and hurries off
into the vast corn field

Work by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois appears in magazines worldwide. Nominated for numerous prizes, he was awarded the 2017 Booranga Centre (Australia) Fiction Prize. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and as a print edition. His poetry collection, THE ARREST OF MR. KISSY FACE, published in March 2019 by Pski’s Porch Publications, is available here. Visit his website  to read more of his poetry and flash fiction.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Press Release Let the Whales Escape Collected Poems by RW Haynes

Let the Whales Escape R.W.Haynes
Mona Lisa and the Marlboro Man
Not knowing if wisdom would impulsively fly
Or if it dragged its feet when impulse flared,
She had to make the call and suddenly try
To do what an immortal would have dared,
An Aphrodite, ascending in a flying cart
Drawn by fifty gurgling pigeons at a speed
Which matched the speed of her own matchless heart
And the heartbreaking glory of her need.
Later, back in Laredo, she would say
She didn’t know why she’d taken off that way,
Smiling with satisfaction, recalling when
Her best moments flew by delightfully then.
He didn’t want anyone saying, “Oh.
This is how I feel,” but people do
Say that, and he said it, sometimes, too,
In unguarded moments, and he would show
How he felt, displaying great disdain
As he lit his pipe, blew blue smoke forth
Delivering himself from aesthetic pain
Incurred by foolish ideas from the North,
And, nodding slightly to appreciate
A tolerable turn of phrase which he
Thought suggested some brain activity,
He let his tobacco counter-obfuscate
Suspicious overflows of raw emotion
Which threatened to undermine devotion.
On the Balcony of the Palacio de Cortés
Madness stands at one elbow. At the other
Various figures in masks take their turns,
And all whisper steadily, one after another,
Syllables whose content one never learns.
The maniac is familiar; one keeps a careful eye
On him night and day, and day and night,
But who are the others who are standing by,
And what are these advisements they recite?
I dream the lonely ghost of love is one
Whose only consolation is to speak of sin,
And when that sad companion is done,
I hear Complacency, Madness’s mad twin.
I listen in patience, fighting back the fear
I’ll never hear the voice I hope to hear.
Ibsen on the Nile
Those monuments are monuments merely
Of themselves; this river of nutrition
And death, inundating Egypt, is clearly
A muddy embodiment of time’s volition.
I saw the Sphinx off in the distance. Today
I purchased an ancient mummified hand
To give to my wife, safely far away,
And I suspect that she will understand.
I met DeLesseps recently. He and I
Have much in common, more than he knows;
My work is lonelier, but there exists a tie
Between what we do as humankind grows.
These monuments record the vanity of ages;
Mine put the outraged human soul on stages.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Pollock. A Poem by EM Schorb.

here my dream would color truth like roaches bleeding crimson bitter
poison    leading ahead to inspiration   love    questions      accusations
gunshots   brain-wreckage   misdirected footprints    prison   shackles
a thousand promises & quiet penance                  opening sad pretense
regularly burning a familiar promise   simple scribbled dreams perpet-
uate observance   remembrance   hard commandment   rearrange me
buried beneath      torment       please       you        my clinician analyst
disconnect merry poetry       our better wine & recite certain darkness
eyes   fist     weapon pretending freedom   care     more like powerless
whispers we have against least-left morning    low nights    life     time
if driftwood love claim me     I slide matter    marking empty alabaster
moon like long winter there      isolation     thinking:     look           feel
treading them    they almost quiver feel KNOW days    here too swept
on     not stuck     brought off     not seen     felt        thoughtless
how softly lightly   now I bear grace  past will   all built burden
hovers awaiting clamor     the coming night     splintered recollections
will you own certain recesses of dedicated brass?     you          opening
small whispered entry................................................?Pollock,51


E. M. Schorb attended New York University, where he fell in with a group of actors and became a professional actor. During this time, he attended several top-ranking drama schools, which led to industrial films and eventually into sales and business. He has remained in business on and off ever since, but started writing poetry when he was a teenager and has never stopped. His collection, Time and Fevers, was a 2007 recipient of an Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing and also won the “Writer’s Digest” Award for Self-Published Books in Poetry. An earlier collection, Murderer’s Day, was awarded the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and published by Purdue University Press. Other collections include Reflections in a Doubtful I, The Ideologues, The Journey, Manhattan Spleen: Prose Poems, 50 Poems, and The Poor Boy and Other Poems.

Schorb’s work has appeared widely in such journals as The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Chicago Review, The Sewanee Review, The American Scholar, and The Hudson Review.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2000, his novel, Paradise Square, was the winner of the Grand Prize for fiction from the International eBook Award Foundation, and later, A Portable Chaos won the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction in 2004.

Schorb has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council; grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund, Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for drawings), and The Dramatists Guild, among others. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets, and the Poetry Society of America.

Books available at Amazon.com

Dates and Dreams, Writer’s Digest International Self-
Published Book Award for Poetry, First Prize

Paradise Square, International eBook Award
Foundation, Grand Prize, Fiction, Frankfurt Book Fair

A Portable Chaos, The Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction,
First Prize

Murderer’s Day, Verna Emery Poetry Prize, Purdue
University Press

Time and Fevers, The Eric Hoffer Award for Poetry
and Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book
Award for Poetry, each First Prize


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems,
as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist
and the recently published Tesserae ,a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author.
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Almost A Nocturne. A Poem by Noni Benegas Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arrospide and Robin Ouzman Hislop

Editor’s note: this poem is a lengthy text, the translation is given first & then the original follows & finally the relevant bio info.
Guilt is an argument
to feel alive, fear
any defense
improvised from a threat,
is another;
being told you’re smarter
than someone else
is another;
the best argument is perhaps
to remember
how we had prepared everything
to write without guilt
instead of loafing about
not to sleep a wink
and feel life slip by.
To worry about distant friends
who do not call, not knowing
if they’ re still alive
yet another.
But the maximum argument
to feel alive is to feel
that you’re wasting your time.
Any incentive,
drug or dressing that heals
the “malheur de vivre”
is, in short, a force driving the
guilt of being alive
but insufficiently.
To think that nobody cares,
that there is no friend
aware of you
makes us prone
to experience guilt
which in turn lets us
experience being alive.
I refuse to speak in the first person
because I don’t know
if I’m an individual
outside language.
It’s the time when wolves
go out to howl at inhospitable
I barely feel my toes
scratch the edge of the bed
rub each other
like sticks on distant drums;
their percussion reverberates
through my body with waxed ears
of a mummy
but more alive,
than Clarice’s clock
pounding at dawn.
Nothing makes sense,
Would it, if I’d lived with you,
X, H or J of my past, present, or future?
And here, I survive
without a dog or cat
or a clock.
But even so
even so if
I waste time on this
my mental calculator
catches on
and condemns me
with such lucid argument
to experience
the guilt that makes me feel alive
in a bad way.
In this uncertain
existence, to the friend who feeds us
to reinforce their vitality
while feeding ours,
I reply with warmth
but no tea,
because it keeps you awake
and makes you think
which prevents
as something natural.
Living is natural
like this light coolness
on my back
and this slight discomfort
of a quilt too warm
making you successively
put off and on
words of life
with their doubts, meanderings:
live, living, surviving.
Little by little
an appetite is born;
I continue living
as I begin to wake up
turning in bed
-left right-
wanting day to come
promising “ficar bonito”.
I begin to understand
St John Perse’s list of posts,
it must have been
at dawn,
scattered like a man’s crumbs
through his long lined verses
whose sum: one over one
make the poem.
And I’m already awake,
while tire wheels roll
out of my cotton filled ears
like waves on the sidewalk,
behind a closed glass
behind my life
with a drawn curtain
already standing
already rhetorical.
Haven’t you ever thought of having children
friend ?
you wouldn’t be able to sleep at night
for their screams,
but a part of you can do it
because of it…,
although another’s life
isn’t an argument
to lose sleep over
or recover it,
there are borders between us,
jagged boundaries as between
I turn off
and on
the coolness on my back persists
as if after so much searching
my back was the dark side of the moon
my feet explore
at the bottom of galaxies
through black holes
tunnelling under the quilt
at the edge of the bed.
Between turning on and off
there is a photogenesis of night
that appears
at will.
Click, clack
René Daumal
click, clack
Lota Macedo
click, clack
Oscar Manesi
click, clack
A. Pizarnik
click, clack
me you him
An association is like placing a carriage on a track
to set in motion,
thus night rolls
with a click
like Clarice’s clock;
the clock is a camera filming
passing time.
What a big animal
in the dark!
I don’t know my limits,
I turn on the light
for the shameful life
of that autonomous hand
filming outside myself
on paper, with pencil,
the pretensions of the poet writing
as a movie shot
in which I’m absent;
only the coolness
and the instep of my right foot
as it molds my left leg’s calf
gives me back my limits.
How disgusting life is
when you want to go to the toilet
but it’s just a plane traversing
your hollow belly over the Gulf of Mexico
before the storm
is unleashed,
taking into account
that being alive
is a way of being
by terrestrial functions.
Body drifting,
but there is too much light
to say so
night fails
and is rhetorical.
Rhetorical, the warp and woof
of a gem illuminated tapestry
from another age.
orders and disorders the world
at the same time
and now everything
feels like my back;
I want to be hungry
or pee to stand up again
not this coolness without limits.
She/he lied to me
and now they pay the price
by losing the meaning
of their lie.
The only reason
for being alive
is to whisper these things
in my ear.
Night is a field
of phosphenes and barbed wire
that starts in
the frontal lobe;
as long as my mouth
pours this fluidity
from above
I will believe in a soul,
click, clack.
In Madrid
I switch on
the light
in my Paris room
through this motion
I exist
click, clack,
at dawn.
I want to roll myself up in the quilt
in an interspatial rocket
riding the coolness of galaxies,
not this earthly
red light
but the dust of stars
precipitated suddenly blue.
How relative
language is…
Little by little I recover
to form a notion of reality,
to breath for my frontal lobe
so it becomes night once more.
My only privacy
is with myself,
at times I’m so far
I don’t recognize myself,
but they talk to me, watch me
and there I am,
at times I’m so close
I can spare knowing me.
In the morning I will recover
my identity
like one who puts her toes
inside the quilt’s capsule
so that they form a whole,
so that they complete a whole.
To the traitor/ess
I do not know you
as a person,
you’re not on my path
or maybe yes, as one more mask.
This I know now.
I don’t know if I’ll know later
when the various layers
of myself overlap
and I fly over the cosmos
in the space capsule
of my quilt.
I’m not me
but my balance is so delicate
that I can try to be me,
and some do try again
for the pleasure of recognizing themselves.
Noni Benegas
Translated by Robin Ouzman & Amparo Arrospide

La culpa es un argumento
para sentirse vivo, el miedo
la defensa, cualquier defensa
improvisada ante una amenaza,
ser más inteligente que alguien
(y que lo digan)
recordar cómo habíamos preparado todo
para escribir sin culpa
en vez de haraganear,
el mejor, quizás,
a fin de no pegar ojo
y sentir la vida pasar.
Preocuparse por los amigos lejanos
que no llaman y se ignora si aún viven
pero el argumento máximo
para sentirse vivo es sentir
que se está perdiendo el tiempo.
Cualquier aliciente,
droga o apósito que cure
del “malheur de vivre”
es, en definitiva, un
propulsor de la culpa
del hecho de estar vivo
sin estarlo lo suficiente.
Pensar que a nadie le importa
y no hay ninguna amistad
que se interese,
nos hace proclives
a experimentar la culpa
que a su vez permite
experimentar la sensación
de estar vivos,
y me niego a hablar en singular
porque no se si yo,
fuera del lenguaje,
estoy viva
en particular.
Es la hora en que los lobos
salen a aullar a la naturaleza
apenas percibo los dedos de mis pies
que arañan el borde de la cama
y se frotan entre si,
como palillos sobre lejanos tambores;
su percusión reverbera
en mi cuerpo con oídos encerados
de momia
pero más vivo,
que el reloj de Clarice
palpitando en la madrugada.
Nada tiene sentido,
¿lo tendría si viviera contigo,
X, H o J de mi pasado, presente, o futuro?
Y aquí,
sin perro ni gato
ni reloj alrededor
pero aún así,
pero aún así,
si pierdo el tiempo en esta comprobación,
la calculadora mental
barrunta la falta
y me condena
con ese argumento lúcido
a experimentar la culpa que me hace sentir viva
de mala manera.
Al amigo que nos da de comer
para reforzar su vitalidad
mientras alimenta la nuestra,
le replico, en esta incertidumbre
de existir, con simpatía
pero sin té,
porque quita el sueño
y te hace pensar,
lo cual impide
como algo natural.
Vivir es natural
como este ligero frescor
en la espalda,
y la leve molestia
del edredón demasiado cálido
que hace que te quites y pongas
las palabras de la vida
con sus dudas y recovecos:
vivo, viviente, sobreviviente.
De a poco nace
el apetito;
sigo viviendo
a medida que despierto
y volteo sobre la cama
-izquierda, derecha-
con ganas de que venga el día
y pueda “ficar bonito”.
Empiezo a entender
la enumeración de oficios en St John Perse;
tiene que haber sido
de madrugada,
mendrugos de hombre
desparramados en el versículo
cuya suma: uno más uno
hacen el poema.
Ya estoy de pie,
mientras ruedan
fuera de mis oídos algodonados,
ruedas de neumáticos
como olas en la vereda,
tras el cristal cerrado
tras mi vida con la cortina
echada, ya de pie
y ya retórica.
¿No has pensado tener hijos
amiga ?
no podrás dormir de noche
por sus gritos,
pero una parte tuya sí podrá hacerlo
a causa de esto…,
aunque no es argumento
la vida ajena
para perder el sueño
o recuperarlo,
hay bordes entre nosotros,
límites dentados como entre
y enciendo,
y sigue el frescor en la espalda
como si después de tanto buscar
fuera ese el lado oscuro de la luna,
que los pies investigan
al fondo de las galaxias
por los agujeros negros,
-túneles bajo el edredón-
hacia el borde de la cama,
y entre encender y apagar
hay una fotogénesis de la noche
que aparece
a voluntad.
Clic, clac
René Daumal
clic, clac
Lota Macedo
clic, clac
Oscar Manesi
clic, clac
A. Pizarnik
clic, clac
yo, tú, él
Y una asociación es como poner un vagón en una vía
para echarlo a andar,
así la noche con el clic
como el reloj de Clarice;
el reloj es la cámara que filma
el tiempo que pasa.
¡Qué animal tan grande
en la oscuridad!
No conozco mis límites,
para la vergüenza de vivir
de esa mano autónoma
afuera de mi filmando
sobre papel, con lápiz,
el paripé del poeta que escribe
como una toma de película
en la cual no estoy yo;
sólo el frescor
me devuelve mis límites
y el empeine del pie derecho
cuando moldea la pantorrilla de la pierna izquierda.
Qué asco vivir
cuando tienes ganas de ir al baño
pero es sólo un avión que atraviesa
la oquedad de tu vientre como el golfo de México
antes de desencadenarse
una tormenta,
sin perder de vista
que estar vivo
es una manera de estar
por las funciones terrestres.
Cuerpo a la deriva,
pero hay demasiada luz
para decirlo
falla la noche y es
Retórico es un retor luminoso
de carbunclos de otra época.
La oscuridad –y ahora todo
es una espalda-
desordena el mundo a la vez
que lo ordena;
quisiera tener hambre
o pis para reincorporarme
y no este frescor sin límites.
Me mintió
y ahora paga su mentira
con la desaparición del objeto
de su mentira.
La única razón
de estar vivo
es poder dictarme estas cosas
al oído.
La noche es un campo
de fosfenos y alambradas
que empieza a partir
del lóbulo frontal.
Mientras la boca
siga derramando
ésta liquidez de arriba
creeré en el alma,
clic, clac,
y aprieto el interruptor
de mi cuarto en París
en otra lámpara
en Madrid,
y sé que existo
por este tacto
clic, clac,
en la madrugada.
Me quiero enrollar en el edredón
con forma de cohete interespacial
para surcar el frescor de las galaxias,
no esta luz colorada
de la tierra
sino el polvo de estrellas,
precipitado súbitamente azul.
Cómo relativiza
el lenguaje…
De a poco me recupero
y cobro noción de lo real,
respiro para mi lóbulo,
para que sea de noche otra vez;
no tengo intimidad
más que conmigo misma,
y a veces estoy tan lejos
que no me reconozco,
pero me hablan y miran
y ahí me encuentro,
aunque a veces estoy tan cerca
que me eximo de conocerme.
Por la mañana recuperaré
mi identidad
como quien mete los dedos de los pies
dentro de la cápsula del edredón
para que formen un todo,
para que completen el todo.
Al traidor/ra
No te reconozco
como persona,
no estás en mi camino
o tal vez sí, una máscara más.
Esto que sé ahora
no sé si lo sabré luego
cuando diversas capas de mi
se superpongan
y en la cápsula espacial
de mi edredón conmigo
sobrevuele el cosmos.
Yo no soy yo
pero mi equilibrio es tan delicado
que yo puedo ser yo,
y algunos vuelven a intentarlo
por el placer de reconocerse a sí mismos.

Noni Benegas, born in Buenos Aires and resident in Spain since 1977, is the author of seven books of poetry; a selection is collected in El Ángel de lo súbito, Ed. Fondo de Cultura Económica, (Madrid, 2014). Burning Cartography, Ed. Host, (Austin TX, 2007 and 2011) is a selection of these poems in English, and Animaux Sacrés, Ed. Al Manar (Séte 2013) in French. She has won the Platero Prize from the UN in Geneva; the Miguel Hernández National Prize for Poetry, as well as Vila de Martorell award, the Rubén Darío Prize from Palma in Mallorca, the Esquío Prize in Galicia. She is the author of the influential anthology of contemporary Spanish women poets Ellas tienen la palabra, Ed. Hiperión (Madrid, 2008, 4th edition) whose introductory essay, with a new prologue, articles, interviews and an epilogue has been recently collected by Ed. Fondo de Cultura Economica in 2017 with the same title. Ellas Resisten. Mujeres poetas y artistas (1994-2019) is a selection of her essays on women writers and artists published by Ed. Huerga & Fierro
Editor’s Note: see also Poetry, National Literature Prize 2018, Francisca Aguirre, Translated from Spanish by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Collected Poems Laredo Light by RW Haynes Press Release

We are pleased to introduce at PLT, RW Haynes recent volume of collected poems hailing from Laredo. It’s been our pleasure to publish a selection of Haynes’ works over the last few years, ( in case of interest view Search or Categories at this site ). He’s a poet with a canny and unique expertise in the craftmanship of the classical sonnet dating from the Renaissance poets and a master of the lyrical mode but absolutely written in contemporary vogue. At times profoundly reflective and self effacing they saunter from the wry and whimsical to the depths of inner movement, whilst harvesting at all times a spectacular vocabulary in accompaniment. Editor’s comment.
Southern Baptists Sponsor Stormy Daniels Forgiveness Tour
“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”

      –Dolly Parton

Brothers and sisters, we all have turned away
From the true path, but in our faith we know
We can return, though bled half-dry, although
In pain and shame for having run astray.
Judas, too, was born a child of light.
His mother saw in him how love arrives.
His kiss would guarantee that it survives
All storminess and darkness, shining bright.
And we also betray our closest friends
And sell ourselves and them with greedy minds
Until amazing grace assures that conscience finds
We have gone chasing after stupid ends.
And now, O brethren, it has come to pass
We’ve put our money on the wrong jackass.

R. W. Haynes, Professor of English at Texas A&M International University, writes various things in prose and in poetic form. His academic specialty is 16th-century England, but much of his work lately has been on the playwright/screenwriter Horton Foote. His poetry collections Laredo Light and Let the Whales Escape are being published this summer. He recently wrote a play titled Never Claim a Kill, and he hopes to complete his novel The Songs of Billy Bonstead before Laredo cools off again. Another project in progress is an academic work currently titled The Struggling Spirit in the Plays and Screenplays of Horton Foote.

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face. Collected Poems by Mitchell Grabois. Press Release

The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face Mitchel Krockmalnik Grabois
M Krockmalnik Grabois is a poet extraodinaire, his works lucidly readable are delivered in a paced, snappy even raunchy style ranging from the common place mundane social to the seedy, slapstick macabre. Much of his writing follows the genre of narrator vignettes with the inevitable turn and twist closure punch lines that amorphize a mix of compassion with often hilarious black humor. Indeed, these poems are psychotic taking us to the verge of psychopathy where they compell the reader to a confrontation of her own humanity. A provocative and very recommendable read. For further works by Mitch Grabois see and search links below: Robin Ouzman Hislop Editor Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com, Motherbird.com
The Arrest of Mr. Kissy Face
I kissed the woman who slices lunch meat
at King Sooper’s
She shoved smoked turkey at me
leaned away
and called: Next!
I kissed my doctor
I’d been wanting to do it
since she first told me to stick out my tongue
and complemented me on its smoothness
and the elegance of my taste buds
I kissed her and she asked
On a scale of one to ten, how have you been feeling this week?
I kissed her again
Have you been seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there?
Have you been feeling suicidal or homicidal?

I kissed her more deeply
really sent my tongue to a remote locale
Do you have access to weapons?
I said:
How can you ask me that
after everything we’ve been through?
Anyway, this is America

She called Security
Security knew me
from the days when I was a high school football star
and an amateur boxer and cage fighter
who went by the moniker Destructo
They were afraid of me
called the cops
warned them: Be sure to bring your stun guns
your billy clubs
and chemical weapons

The first cop who entered the room—
I kissed her
She yelled FREEZE!
Hands where I can see them!
Get down on your knees!

I happily complied


Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including quite a few in POETRY LIFE AND TIMES. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a Print Edition . To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.


Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)


Inutile. A Poem by Noni Benegas. Translated from Spanish by Noël Valis

Excerpt from Fragments of an Unknown Diary

Inutile                                                                                   Inútil

insolent                                                                                 insolente

insociable                                                                              insociable

insecure filthy                                                                       insegura sucia

cupriferous carbona soaked                                                  cuprífera carbona rehogada

lens lamina                                                                            lente lámina

leavened                                                                                levadiza

villain                                                                                    villana

vultiferous jerk                                                                      vultífera fregada

insomniac                                                                              insomne

maniac                                                                                   maníaca

criminoid désolée decisive                                                    criminante desolante decisiva

incisive                                                                                  incisiva

leeks mangled beef                                                               puerro ropa vieja

snitch                                                                                     soplona

salivating drooling dissolving                                               salivada babeante borrosa

brute                                                                                      bruta

brutally brute                                                                         abrutada brutal


malapertous                                                                          malabuena

malapropous                                                                         malhabida

beflavorous                                                                           saborida

borealeous                                                                             brisada

brumeous                                                                              brumosa

lunar rapide                                                                           lunar rápida

unmissed                                                                               mal ida

unwelcome                                                                            malvenida

seated seatless                                                                       ensillada sin silla

second sally                                                                          resalida

aligned                                                                                  ahilada

related                                                                                   recontada

recuperated                                                                           recuperada

cured                                                                                     curtida

cooked                                                                                  cociente

crunched                                                                               crujiente

stitched                                                                                 cosida

chosen                                                                                  elegida

papa loved                                                                           papá amada

papa pretty                                                                          papá linda

papa talk                                                                              papá diálogo

papa love                                                                             papá amor

papa always                                                                         papá siempre


broken bashed bent                                                            rota estrujada revertida

exonerated                                                                          exonerada

extracted                                                                             extraída

launched                                                                              lanzada

mama suppressed                                                               mamá elidida

mama scolded                                                                     mamá reñida

mama twisted                                                                      mamá torcida

mama out                                                                            mamá fuera

mama far                                                                             mamá lejos

mama hurry                                                                         mamá prisas

mama hollow                                                                       mamá hueco

mama never                                                                         mamá nunca

mama old                                                                             mamá vieja

mama death                                                                         mamá muerte

mama space                                                                         mamá espacio

mama freedom                                                                     mamá libertad

mama voice                                                                          mamá voz

mama laughing                                                                    mamá riente

mama suffering                                                                    mamá doliente

mama pardon                                                                       mamá perdón

mama please                                                                        mamá porfavor

mama plea                                                                            mamá ruego

mama purchase                                                                    mamá compra

mama vigilant                                                                       mamá avizora

mama idea                                                                            mamá idea

mama recuperate                                                                 mamá recupera

mama leftover                                                                      mamá sobras

mama rags                                                                           mamá guiñapo

mama mummy                                                                    mamá momia

mama whine                                                                        mamá queja

mama fate                                                                           mamá sino

mama loving                                                                       mamá amante

mama late                                                                           mamá tarde


garden gone                                                                        jardín ido

gathered                                                                              recogido

garden rigged                                                                      jardín jarcias

never-ever                                                                            jamases

garden grasped                                                                    jardín asido

threads                                                                                 hilo

garden moon                                                                        jardín luna

gleams                                                                                  riela

carp play                                                                               lúdica carpa

sounds                                                                                  suena

pool star                                                                               charco estrella

garden plot                                                                           jardín tramo

peril                                                                                       trance


Works by Noni Benegas


Argonáutica. Prologue José María Valverde. Barcelona: Laertes, 1984. (Platero Prize)

La balsa de la Medusa. Alicante: Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Alicante, 1987.

(Miguel Hernández National Prize for Poetry)

Cartografía ardiente: Madrid: Verbum, 1995.

Las entretelas sedosas: Montilla: Aula Poética Casa del Inca, 2002.

Fragmentos de un diario desconocido. Ferrol: Esquío, 2004. (Esquío de Poesía Prize)

De ese roce vivo: Madrid, Huerga&Fierro, 2009

Animales Sagrados: Barcelona, Igitur, 2012 ( Vila de Martorell Prize)

Lugar Vertical: Barcelona, Igitur, 2012 ( Ciutat de Palma, Rubén Darío Prize)

El ángel de lo súbito: A selection of poetry, whit an introduction by Benito del Pliego, Madrid, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2013

Fragmentos de un diario desconocido. Reedition, Madrid, eMe, escritura de Mujeres en español, Ed. La Palma, 2017

Poetry in translation

Burning Cartography: A bilingüal selection spanish-english, introduced and translated by Noël Valis. Austin, TX, Host, 2007. Second edition with added poems in 2011

Animaux sacrés et autres poémes: A bilingüal selection spanish-french translated by Annie Salager, Sète, Al Manar, 2013  (Voix Vives, de Méditerranée en Méditerranée)


Ellas tienen la palabra. Dos décadas de poesía española. (with Jesús Munárriz). Introduction by Noni Benegas. Madrid: Hiperión, 1997. 4th ed., 2008.

Ellas tienen la palabra. Las mujeres y la escritura. Collects the introduction to the anthology of the same name, a new prologue, articles, interviews and an epilogue. Madrid,Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2017

Ellas resisten. Mujeres poetas y artistas. Textos 1994-2019: Madrid, Huerga&Fierro, 2019


Bio: Translator. Noël Valis (born 24 December 1945) is a writer, scholar and translator. She is a Professor of Spanish at Yale University.  She received her B.A. from Douglass College and earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and French at Bryn Mawr College. An Hon. Woodrow Wilson Fellow, she is a recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Valis is a Full Member of the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (an affiliate of the Real Academia Española) and a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia Española. In 2017 she won the Victoria Urbano Academic Achievement Prize (Premio Victoria Urbano de Reconocimiento Académico), given by the International Association of Hispanic Women’s Literature and Culture (Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica), for her work in Hispanic women’s and gender studies. Her translation of Noni Benegas’s poetry, Burning Cartography, was awarded the New England Council of Latin American Studies’ Best Book Translation Prize.



Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Homage to Francisca Aguirre – The Lullaby Poems (Translated from Spanish)

Francisca Aguirre, Premio Nacional de las Letras 2018 El jurado la ha elegido 
“por estar su poesía (la más machadiana de la generación del medio siglo)
entre la desolación y la clarividencia, la lucidez y el dolor"

Francisca Aguirre, National Literature Prize 2018
The jury chose it "because its poetry is (the most Machadian* of the generation 
of the half century) between desolation and clairvoyance, lucidity and pain"

* In the tradition of Antonio Machado


Francisca Aguirre was born in 1930 in Alicante, Spain, and fled with her family to France 
at the end of the Spanish Civil War, where they lived in political exile.  When the Germans 
invaded Paris in 1942, her family was forced to return to Spain, where her father, painter 
Lorenzo Aguirre, was subsequently murdered by Francisco Franco's regime.  
Aguirre published Ítaca (1972), currently available in English (Ithaca [2004]), when she was 
42 years old. Her work has garnered much critical success, winning the Leopoldo Panero, 
Premio Ciudad de Irún, and Premio Galliana, among other literary prizes.  
Aguirre is married to the poet Félix Grande and is the mother of poet Guadalupe Grande.




Translated by Amparo Arrospíde & Robin Ouzman Hislop ***

NANA DE LAS SOBRAS                                                                             A Esperanza y Manuel Rico Vaya

canción la de las sobras, eso sí
                      que era una nana para dormir el hambre.
Vaya canción aquella
                      que cantaba mi abuela con aquella voz
que era la voz de la misericordia
disfrazada de voz angelical.
                             Porque la voz de mi abuela
nos cantaba la canción de las sobras.
                             Y nosotras, que no conocíamos el pan,
cantábamos con ella que
                             las sobras de pan eran sagradas,
las sobras de pan nunca se tiran.

Siempre recordaré su hermosa voz
cantando aquella nana mientras el hambre nos dormía.
LULLABY FOR LEFTOVERS                                                          To  Esperanza and Manuel Rico

Well, a leftovers song,
                    that truly was a lullaby to lull hunger to sleep.
Wow, that song 
                    my grandmother sang with a voice
that was the voice of mercy
disguised as the voice of an angel.
                              Because my grandmother´s voice
sang for us the leftovers song.
                              And we, who did not know bread,
sang together with her that
                              bread leftovers were holy,
bread leftovers shall never be thrown away.

I will always remember her beautiful voice
singing that lullaby while hunger lulled us to sleep.


NANA DE LAS HOJAS CAÍDAS                                                                       
                                                                                                                       A Marián Hierro
Casi todo lo que se pierde tiene música,
                                                             una música oculta, inolvidable.
Pero las hojas, esas criaturas parlanchinas
que son la voz de nuestros árboles,
                    tienen, como la luz, el agua y las libélulas
una nana secreta y soñadora.
                    Lo que se pierde, siempre nos deja
                       un rastro misterioso y cantarín.

Las hojas verdes o doradas
              cantan su desamparo mientras juegan al corro.
Cantan mientras los árboles las llaman
como llaman las madres a sus hijos
sabiendo que es inútil, que han crecido
                     y que se han ido a recorrer el mundo.


                                                                                                                     To Marián Hierro

Almost everything which is lost has a music,
                                                                     a hidden, unforgettable music.
But leaves, those chattering creatures
who are the voices of our trees
                       have -- like light, water and dragonflies --
a secret dreamy lullaby.
                                   That which is lost to us, always leaves
                                           the mysterious trace of its song.
Green or golden leaves
                        sing of their neglect as they dance their ring a ring of roses.
They sing while trees call to them
as mothers do calling their children
knowing it is futile, as they have grown up
                                     and left to travel the world over.


Tienen el olor desvalido del abandono
y el tono macilento del silencio.
Son desperdicios de la memoria, residuos de dolor, 
                                                   y hay que cantarles muy bajito
para que no despierten de su letargo.
En ocasiones las manos se tropiezan con ellas
                                                  y el pulso se acelera
porque notamos que las palabras	
                                                 como si fueran mariposas
quieren bailar delante de nosotros
y volver a contarnos el secreto
                                                 que duerme entre sus páginas.
Son las abandonadas,
                                 los residuos de un tiempo de desdicha,
relatan pormenores de un combate
                                 y al rozarlas oímos el tristísimo andar
de los presos en los penales.



They give off the helpless smell of neglectfulness
and the emaciated tone of silence.
They are memory´s cast offs, residues of pain
                                                   and should be sung to in a low croon
so as not to awaken them from their lethargy.
Sometimes your hands chance upon them
                                                   and your pulse races
because we realize that words
                                                   wish to dance before us
as if they were butterflies
and tell us again the secret
                                                  sleeping inside their pages.
They are the neglected,
                                                  the remnants of unhappy times,
recounting the details of a struggle
                                                  and as we brush them we hear the saddest steps
of prisoners in jails.



La nana del humo tiene muchos detractores,
casi nadie quiere cantarla.
                                            Muchos dicen que el humo los ahoga,
otros piensan que eso de dormir al humo
                                            no les da buena espina,
que tiene algo de gafe.
                                   El humo no resulta de fiar:
en cuanto asoma su perfil oscuro
todo son malas conjeturas:
                                             se nos está quemando el bosque,
aquella casa debe de estar ardiendo.
El humo es un extraño desperdicio,
                                             tiene muy mala prensa.
Es un abandonado,
                                   es un incomprendido;
casi nadie recuerda que el humo es un vocero,
un triste avisador de lo que se nos avecina.
Y por eso, cuando lo escucho vocear con impotencia
yo le canto la nana del silencio
                                   para que no se sienta solo.



The lullaby for smoke doesn´t get many supporters,
almost nobody wants to sing its song.
                                               Many say smoke stifles them,
others think to lull smoke to sleep
                                               makes them queasy, 
that it´s a bit of a jinx.
                                  Smoke is not trustworthy:
as soon as it rears its dark head
it conjures up conjectures
                                                        -- a forest fire,
a house burning down.
Smoke is a weird remain,
                                             it´s got bad reports.
It´s a reject,
                                  it´s a misunderstood thing;
almost nobody remembers smoke is a herald,
a sad forwarner of what looms over us.
That´s why, when I hear it calling out helplessly,
I sing to it the lullaby for silence
                                             so that it doesn´t feel so lonely.


Amparo Arrospide (Argentina) is a Spanish poet and translator. She has published 
seven poetry collections, Mosaicos bajo la hiedra, Alucinación en dos actos y algunos 
poemas, Pañuelos de usar y tirar, Presencia en el Misterio, En el Oido del Viento, 
Hormigas en Diáspora and Jaccuzzi, as well as poems, short stories and articles on 
literary and film criticism in anthologies and in both national and foreign magazines. 
She has received numerous awards. 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include 
All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist 
the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande 
and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. 
See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest 
Collected Poems Volume at  Next-Arrivals