Three Poems by Benny Roberts


This office surrounds me with mediocrity
conversations are banal at best
I sink into my chair and try to fight the boredom
I take on some filing and lose

I look out the window at the office across the road
see endless reflections of myself
soul after soul at similar desks
clutching on to nothing
they never dreamt of this as a kid

a gang of three boys and a girl go past
they’re carrying crates of beer
lucky, young, free bastards
that girl will be crying by the end of the day
even the best male friend can break a girl's heart

the girls in this office are full of anxiety
all think they’re too fat
I’d fuck every single one of them
apart from the bitch of a boss
I do have some morals

lunchtime comes and there’s a stay of execution
there’s nowhere to go except the supermarket
the trolley collectors look blissfully happy
who argues with you over a trolley?
I sit in my car and eat my sandwiches
I’m surrounded by doppelgangers
all wondering where it went wrong
brushing the crumbs from their seats

I get back to the office
those damn kids are probably drunk now
that girl’s discovering what lies ahead from men
I’m sorting out the photocopier
I win the heartbreak stakes by a shade.


The sun beats down on my aging Citroen
sapping what's left of my spirit
on this goddamn drive to work
to an industrial estate hell
which even Satan would wince at.
The misery is punctuated only by girls
stripped to the bare minimum by the heat
revealing tanned flesh in all its glory
for a moment I forget about my in-tray
until I see my supervisor getting out of her Ford
a carriage straight from the underworld
paid for by misery and spite
and driven on pure arrogance.
I can see her legs
withered, veined and a sickly shade of death
the same fate that awaits my soul
I turn the car round and head home.


She was like a cigarette butt
screwed up
nicotine stained.
“You’re very attractive” she slurred.
What was that white sediment on her teeth?
it was thick and furry
like the hairs springing from her upper lip.
Her oestrogen had given up long ago.
It really highlighted the age gap.
Yet I was thinking about fucking her
my young cock pushing into her patchy haired cunt
forcing its way past those dry, discoloured labia
doing its best to avoid the warts.
Two years without sex was really starting to take it’s toll on me.
I dry heaved at the thought of coming in her.
“Come here, sweetie,” she gurgled.
I smelt stale alcohol on her breath.
It had a tragic scent.
There’d been life there once
but some bastard had beaten it out of her
taken everything that made a woman good
and reduced her to this.
I dry heaved again.
She went to put her arm round me
but I left
she deserved better.

twenty-three dollars by Steve Calamars

in my bank account
and kafka stories
shuffling thru my skull

i’m a mess of
taut lean muscle
book smarts

as these rainy
december days
roll beneath my
vans like

and i trip over
the weeks
and fall into the nightmare
of a new year
with time clocks
unnoticed prose and
shrinking youth

i see carver mopping
floors and cleaning
toilets till his death

i see selby never getting
out of a hospital bed
and over to a typewriter

i see lorca crushed by
the loneliness of new  york
and leaping from a towering
tenement rooftop

and i see my own
bearded face
stocking cereal boxes
in a grocery store

run down by life
tire-treads like
typewriter ribbon
torn across my brain

my mind caved in
from an avalanche of
unfulfilled ambition
and words heavy
as anvils—

Two Poems by Devlin De La Chapa

YouTube Interlude

trotting through these
fiber optic veins
is the liquescent boredom
of  teens,
some troubled,
some abused,
some x-rated,
some outdated,
but damn are they popular
on YouTube

Fatal Love Chase

radiator falters
the separation-
120 degrees

in Texas,
a revolver spins

she wipes her nose
the hit is bad
tweaking hard

daylight breaks
thunder cracks the sky
blow melts the heat

from his hands
they glitter of gold
slugs plated of love

In Chesterfield and Spats by Donal Mahoney

The father of the girl
I stare at now,
as we wait for our morning bus,
stands across the street,
tall and proper in his
chesterfield and spats.

He is waiting for a bus
that goes in the opposite direction.
He wears a derby,
swings a silver cane,
smokes a green panatela.
Suddenly he pirouettes

and smiles at my daughter.
She takes the same bus
to school every morning.
That night at supper,
I ask her about him.
"Dad, he's super!"

At 12, she knows.
"Dad, he rides the same bus
as me every morning.
He checks my homework
and I ask him questions.
Dad, he knows all the answers."

Two Poems by Bill Wolak

In a Brothel Bedroom

Charles Baudelaire’s 
only recorded dream
takes place in a dimly lit 
brothel bedroom
where a body curls 
in a fetal position
beneath many 
obscene paintings 
hanging on the walls.

The Wife’s Revenge

When a wife of the Ugandan Gisus tribe
is denied sex by her husband,
she screams at the top of her lungs
night and day for all the village to hear:
“My husband’s penis has died!”

Insect Proverbs by Melanie Browne

you see her in the street,
nadja with the chocolate eyes,
you have arabic  dreams where it rains sand 
and she feeds you red locusts 
you are too shy to speak to nadja with the 
fireflies in her hair,
you want to make love
under the jasmine trees,
but nadja refuses,
you follow her,
the vines clutched
tightly in your fists

Two Poems by Michael Ashley

Two Bullets Away

at 2.43am
Dr Konowitz
removed the first slug 

it swilled 
around the kidney dish
like a small black beetle 

number two 
was never removed 

today he slaps his chest
rattles a penny in a jar 
and laughs with Billy  

too ashamed to tell him 
how this moment 
almost never came

The Vintage Jacket

it hangs 
in the confines
of my wardrobe

the words 
Devil's Disciple 
on its back

at least once a month
I take it out
slip it on

for a moment 
I'm nineteen again
and can feel her roar
between my thighs

taking the hair-pins 
at ninety on Sunday

but the door
always shuts

leather scented memories 
are not enough

most Sunday afternoons
I walk to Wynstons

pay £75.00
for an hour
with Halyna

who smells 
of CK One

and grunts
dirty words at me
in Ukranian 

as I plant
another meaningless load
into the emptiness


About Me

Black-Listed Magazine is an online literary magazine. We publish on a rolling basis: weekly, daily, sometimes hourly. Send submissions here: