gods' heads by David Mclean

and in dreams are gods with the heads of animals
and bodies of men or women or other animals,
totemic beings in which we believe
when skepticism is dressed in dreams.

they do very little but they are probably evil
and the devils do not like to mention them -
the devils are usually my friends in dreams,
they are kind, like death himself,

so dreams are where i play, in greasy
and nevertheless desolate fields, with parts
of cozy cadavers, heads and hearts, with dead
children and with my dreamless friends,

the fiends

The Crime Of Memory by Frank Reardon

It's a face I can't imagine
eating me whole like the
strong laughter of lovers
and their missing heads.

I want to let it go but I
can't it hits me like a
hammer that wishes it
had a house to build.

They've all said I was
nothing, a nobody who
amounts to cheap forms
of trash and despair, I
always tell them I'm
working on it....they just
see the pistol.

I want to be the singing
bird outside the window
I want to be the statuesque
Buddha who prays for scores
of misery but I'm me in a street
crying for desire.

I want to be the angel who gives
halo's to the holocaust and I
want to be the drunk who can
tell the world to go to hell but I'm
trapped in a obsessed need for
sensitivity and In turn I wont see
the universe with stable eyes.

I want to matter in words and
never reason, I want to see the
gutters for more than what I can
be. I want to scream like legions
stuck inside their ears but they never
hear, they always end up hating
me for wishing I was delusional.

I want to throw my arms around
walls that are not there and I want
to converse with him, her and
myself but they only want to tell
me what is wrong and what I need
to do before the old man sees right
through the age of what I am becoming.

A Calloused Heart Is Often The Result Of A Wounded Heart by Mike Meraz

I remember a time when I was feeding
the homeless in Santa Monica.
there was an old homeless lady
walking down the street with her belongings.
I pulled up next to her in my car and said,
"hey mam, would you like some food?"
she looked at me with a mean face
and said, "get the hell away from me!
don't bother me."
I drove up next to her again
and said, in a more soft, concerned,
tone of voice,
"mam, if you would like some food,
you are welcome to have a lunch."
as I said this I held a sack lunch
outside my window.
she stopped.
I started to think to myself, "oh, she is
going to take it."
but then she hesitated as to see if I was safe.
then she started to move towards the car.
slowly, but surely, she came to the car window
and took the lunch.
then, in a very meek tone,
she said,
"thank you very much."

people, for fear of being hurt,
will often put on
a cold and hard demeanor.
but as soon as they
see that it's safe to talk to us they will
let down their wall and reveal their need.
I could have driven away after the
homeless lady's first response.
but something inside me told me
she was in need of love
underneath her
tough and angry

a calloused heart is often the result
of a wounded heart.

The Old Poet by Karl Koweski

the old poet likes to relate
the story of the one and
only time he met
Charles Bukowski
following a reading engagement
at a west coast college

Buk sat at the bar
of a popular hangout
and the old poet
young at the time
but still old enough to
know better approached
Bukowski for an autograph

Bukowski signed the book
then spit in the old poet’s face

Buk went back to his beer
the old poet scurried away
to wipe the spittle off
his cheek and gloat over
his moment with the
"world’s greatest living poet"

is it any wonder
the rotten sonofabitch
felt such
contempt for poets?

A MAN AND A WORD by Suzy Devere

been listening to poets read words detached from me
rhyme schemes and

i'm a simple girl
after all these years and all i want
is a word
like a man
to yell
in no fancy way


all I want is a man
like a word
to yell


all I want
is a man
and a word

to stay

where I can
hold them
hear them
be near them


Brand America by Maria Gornell

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~George Orwell~

44 caliber pistol
Brains splattered
Across flawed American


In Iran chanting
Death to America
Burn this new messiah.

He will come
Chanting war
20.000 troops
Will vomit
With patriotic pride.

Coffins still returning
Blood soaked flags.

Eastern Europe will riot.
England will provide
Tea, sympathy
Stiff upper lip.

Capitalism coils
Reinvented territory
There will be blood.

Sell me a product
A perfect gleaming
Substance of hope.

Black equality engraved
Packaged with precision
Eradicated of class struggle.

Call it ‘I have a dream’

Sell it on slaves
Corpses turning in graves
Sell it on
Civil rights
Women’s movement.

Sell it on Obama’s dream
Ambition taste curdled.

Call it brand Obama

‘Yes we can’

Call it democracy
financed by the elite.

The Nonpareil by James Dalrymple

According to Martin, people who talk about killing themselves never actually do it. It's just one of ten- thousand 'opinions' he's absorbed from the least credible sources. If he didn't surround himself with knuckleheads and bootlickers, someone might say, "Is that a fact? Not once?" or even "how the hell would you know?" Instead everyone in the vicinity nods thoughtfully as if his statement was based on years of personal research. "Look at what happened with John," he adds, referring to the time it took half the Carver Police Department six hours to coax our brother off the ledge of the South Street railway bridge. "The whole town was watching and he just fucking stood there." As far as Martin's concerned, John's gutlessness vindicates everything he's ever said on the subject. "Don't talk: jump. Otherwise people are just going to be embarrassed for you! How do you deal with someone who's been led off a bridge by the fucking hand?" From Martin's expression, no-one can help but reach the conclusion that John let everyone down very badly. Ten years on, he still feels the humiliation as if it was his own. He can't help bringing it up. It either doesn't occur to him that the topic makes people uncomfortable or, more likely, he doesn't care. Looking at the way he chews on his lip when he talks about it, I'm reminded of Dad. It makes me think of the Sean Milligan fight. In my mind's eye, I can still see the old man, pounding on the canvas from the side of the ring, shouting, "Get up!" while John, eyes clear but fearful, settles on one knee and stares disconsolately at the canvas. "Get up!" shouts Dad as the referee's count drags inexorably toward its conclusion. John doesn't even look at him. Twenty years on, a couple of drunks passed the time by pelting him with empty beer cans and cigarette ends from an apartment balcony overlooking the South Street bridge. "Just fucking jump and get it over with," they shouted. John didn't so much at glance at them, not even when a can hit the back of his head. The next week one of the drunks was thrown off the same balcony. Martin might have agreed with the sentiment, but it certainly wasn't theirs to express.

There's etiquette for dealing with unsuccessful suicides. You have to jolly them along a bit, make them feel good about themselves without going over the top about it. Anyone who's been in the situation will know what I'm talking about. However embarrassing you might find it, you have to act as if talking to them is the most natural thing in the world. Don't skirt the topic of their death wish, just get it out of the way and move on to something else. Whatever you do, don't get emotional about it, just treat it like any other topic of conversation. The first time I visited John in hospital, I couldn't think straight: I ended up blurting out that he was my hero. This was definitely a mistake, I just couldn't think of anything else to say. We both knew it was a lie. "People shouldn't have heroes," John chided. "Not at your age at any rate." Despite everything, it irritated me that I was being lectured by someone who'd only recently made such an ass of himself, particularly when I was just trying to be kind. That's just John's way, though. He can't help pontificating. I resisted the temptation to admit that I had been lying and that I'd always thought that he was kind of a joke. "You're probably right," I conceded. "But everyone needs someone to look up to. I've always looked up to you." I've never been a good liar. On this occasion, I could feel myself reddening to an extent that I excused myself and went to the washroom. It was such obvious bullshit that I was angry with myself for saying it and irritated with John for making me feel that I ought to.

Martin, who actually had idolised John, didn't even visit him. As far as he was concerned, the entire exhibition was a sham. "Why does everyone keep talking about a suicide attempt? He didn't try and kill himself," he said. "What was stopping him? He only had to take one step forward. I'm telling you, if no-one had called the cops, he'd have sulked there for five minutes feeling like a fucking martyr and then he'd have climbed back over the railing." With hindsight, he was probably right. John's always enacted these private dramas. He's never really needed much of an audience. God alone knows what fantasies unravel in the theater of his imagination. For all I know, perching on the ledge of the South Street Bridge might have been a secret ritual indulged for years without interference. On this occasion, unfortunately, someone called the cops. To make matters worse, Ryan Derrick of the Gazette got a hold of the story. I'm not sure how, but I suspect Dad called him. Three days later the banner headline 'Tragic John's Suicide Bid' was all over Carver.


Deafening the agitated goals we lose our lives over,
A second language
Rains your pair collecting my veins.
I'm released from worldly concerns, I'm released
Ahead of earthly burns.
People, your plot experiments
All the day long in seclusion, and it moans
Lazily down a river contrasted with nerves.
The trees hugging awkward curbsides
Recede through latex scarcely true subject.
And the brains
Precede the presence of a sage to avoid,
Irrelevant and carnal
As are these vile rays in the average wire
Foretelling of straw waterfalls
And kerosene lynched from my old friends
Gone the cola price
Arid on a spontaneous foreskin.

Thoughts from the Pond by Jarlid Shadows

As a sickly child
I saw great things
when others could not
I was at home in the woods
where I built tunnels
dug holes
stored precious childhood treasures
hiding from the realities
that were so harsh.
I spent my time
carving masks
creating illusions
that would follow me
through my teens.
The strange long haired kid
with glassy eyes
that revealed nothing
of the pain shackled to his ankles;
the bell bottomed freak
passing through others lives.
Then hell came to visit
and once again realities split
splitting me as well.
So don't ask what reality is
for there is only a comparison
of that around us
and I have my own.

The Paralyzed Poem by Rob Plath

this poem is
so self-conscious
it is seriously

it daydreams about
diving off the
goddamn page

becoming an unpoem
a jumble of sentences
a pile of mere letters

i'm trying to
get it to be
like other


a poem that
humps the NOW

but this poem
has hamlet-itis

it doesn't give shit
its readers
or the writer

i keep pressing it
to experience more

but all it does is
ponder the curves
& 90 degree angles
of its letters

it thinks subject matter
is meaningless

it says god is

it prefers writer's

this poem is

what this poem needs
is a bottle
of whiskey
& some smokes

but it's being
a stubborn sober

The Sound of Our Breath in the Darkness by William Taylor Jr.

Note the color of the sky

accept the sun
and the rain as they come
and be glad for their presence

celebrate this flesh
and whatever lies beneath it

the feel of us
and the sound of our breath
in the darkness

all these things precious
and temporary

let us embrace them
but not

make more of anything
than what is there

for fear our hearts should break

take this day and be not concerned
with lack of faith
or direction

take this moment and bless it
in whatever way
you see fit

and continue on to the next
not pausing to worry
so much about the why.

I CUNT by Ford Dagenham

whole Saturdays sweating
out in the garden
under autumn suns
and whole nights
doing fine wine
bunkered in my high marsh plot
I squeeze time in
to squeeze words out
in some grey dawn –

all this effort
will call me a
on Sunday when I am all wrong

but this Sunday
I got valium in the cabinet
and I,
will take the low prince from the cabinet,
take it with cold water,
and shop with pockets of change
for cider and eggs.

in the park I stare at the park.
I am holding a soft drink.
I am a bundle of white cotton I must wash.
my hopes
for tele are high and innocent.

I am only washing alone in a park, a cunt,
with nothing to relax to.
I smell the air
fresh off the A13
and just stand still
not thinking much
not thinking much.

maybe if it doesn't rain
I'll go back and get my camera.

Suddenly Grateful by Rob Plath

i am hungover
attempting to create
a giant healing omelet
consisting of
eggs, tomatoes, onion
garlic & smoked cheese
i am grating the gouda
when i feel envious
at the way something solid
gets quickly shaved away
i wish i could grate
my pain into shreds
then i take a look at
the small mound of cheese
that went from a solid mass
to a bowl of slivers
to a small pile that reminds
one of worms
then suddenly i feel
a little better
add hot pepper flakes
oregano, sea salt
grind some black pepper
& as this golden half moon
sizzles in the pan
i open a window in mid-october
it being a spring-like day
& the sound of the plane
roaring overhead is not noise
but pure movement
& i sip hot coffee
from an unchipped mug
& it rolls over
some chunks of my pain
like scalding water
over blocks of ice
shrinking them for now

The Corner Shop El Sanguchetto by Mike Meraz

I just got ripped off
by the Mexicans
at the corner shop
El Sanguchetto.
$2.39 for a gallon of water?
who ever heard of that?
then I come home to find out
my phone is disconnected.
unpaid bill.
so I could not call the body shop
about my van.
I got in a car accident
two days
before Christmas.
not my fault.
it has been a hard week.

now I sit here writing this to you
hoping you understand:

the end of the world
does not bother me.
all I want
is some peace
before then.


I'm finished cleaning dog bites
from angry mutt mouths
and rabid pedigrees

Done cleaning the dishes left
by contrary-just-to-be-contrary
shit heads and wasters

It's enough to watch out for myself
but this looking out for others is too much
you don't understand?
you don't get it?
you didn't go to school?
didn't read that classic?
didn't study French?

it isn't about elitism anymore
it's about you being lazy
so I'm leaving you behind.

From now on you can
fight your own battle for the losers
and the land of lost causes

eventually you'll realize you're only
fighting for yourself.

What Happened to Fletcher’s Balls by Karl Koweski

y’all hear about Fletcher?
Bright asks the circle of smiles

of course, we’ve heard,
it’s all anyone’s been talking about.

for Fletcher, he was simply a victim
of the wrong time, wrong place syndrome.

the wrong time being
when Bennie Lee got home from work.
the wrong place being
between the legs of Bennie Lee’s wife.

Jesus fucking Christ, man
how bad does Bennie Lee gotta be
to hold Fletcher down,
one handed, while his own wife
waffles his head with an alarm clock,
and lop off Fletcher’s nuts
with a straight razor?

Maybe not too bad a motherfucker,
we all knew Fletcher growing up.
he always felt more comfortable
playing house with the girls
than rough-housing with the fellas.

never-the-less, Bright says,
twenty guys couldn’t hold me down
long enough to cut off my balls.

anyone wanted your balls, Bright,
all they gotta do
is go digging in your wife’s purse.

seriously, though, think about it
Bennie Lee kicks the door in,
Fletcher must’ve gave up right there,
rolled over like a little puppy dog
and begged for mercy.

Mikey wonders aloud
what do you guess Fletcher
said to his wife
coming home minus his testicles?

I wouldn’t say a fucking thing.
I’d put two baseballs
inside a Crown Royal pouch
and staple it below my rod.
long as I keep the lights off
the wife’ll never be able
to tell the difference.

now I’m not up on medical science,
Mikey says, but couldn’t
the doctors reattach his testicles?

Bright shook his head, no dude,
by the time the cops killed
Bennie Lee’s doberman
and the doctors opened up its stomach
there wasn’t much left of
Fletcher’s balls to work with.

The Stripper by Joseph Ridgwell

That was the stripper’s name
Blonde, voluptuous, with a winning smile
She lived in the apartment opposite mine
And worked in Playbirds International
On the main drag
And also Porkies
In Porkies she did extras
I liked the fact that a stripper lived opposite me
When we passed each other in the hallway
We always said hello
And on the main drag
She would wink at me
And flash that winning smile
One time I was locked out of my apartment
And had to climb through Chantal’s bathroom window
Shin along a drainpipe
Into my open kitchen window
It was an eight floor apartment
Instant death if I fell
But there was no other way in
Afterwards Chantal invited me to hers for a drink
We didn’t talk much
I was slightly overwhelmed
She had travelled down from Brisbane
And wanted to be an actress
I was wearing my hospital porter’s uniform
Black baseball cap, black trousers, striped shirt
Chantal was in a dressing gown
I kept eyeing up her legs on the sly
Nice legs, nice breasts
And that winning smile
I would dearly liked to have shagged her
But after one drink I left
About a month later
The agent appeared at my door
Had I seen Chantal?
I hadn’t
The agent opened the door to her apartment
With a master key
The stench released was overpowering
I gagged
The agent went in and came out
She’s dead, he whispered
I stood there
In my doorway
Not knowing what to do

Everything. by Jay-James May

Coffee before work a cold cocaine embrace
in the attic the
feeling of skin through silk
a restrained kiss by the bank
in the rain these
thoughts cooking together carpet burns arguing
realising possibilities a
glance a smile right hand brushing over
rising falling guts
or the lack of naming kids in advance something
about rivers canals reflections
in glass breakfast at three in the afternoon
just about



About Me

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

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