Two Poems by Joseph Veronneau

On the Avenue

Kansas City midwest heat in April
outside the old barbershop
the vending machine was
just for looks now
it's pressable plastic coating
cracked like the San Andreas.
Across the street
she walked leggy
one stride direct straight
after another
a Firebird passing
couldn't help himself
double horn blast
she never lost step
or turned
and flipped him the bird
his glare hung a few extra seconds
rearview checking
in case she changed her mind
I regretted being in heavy jeans
that day.
Light changed down
at the corner
she disappeared behind
a well-graffitied wall into
sweltering heat.

Seeing the Future

When the kids come through
the warehouse
we aren't just storing shipments,
they are shown
what happens
if you don't continue with school.
No one tells them this, but
a few sense it.
Some are fascinated,
driving around the lift,
placing crates into ceiling high
metallic shelves.
The constant herky jerky settling
tires screech
and a few chuckle.
A few feel potential here
that they haven't before.
If lucky, they escape it.
If not, the best they can hope
is to be able to write about it.

FEW GOOD MEN by Ford Dagenham

I attempt a soft detox
when an Irish nurse
who talks so visually
rings on my telephone

she is telling me

she uses old words

her black hair goes all the way down her small back
to her small arsehole.

I follow medical advice
fill myself with vodka
and I play N Cave
or M Ronson
on the suffering juke box
loud as a party.

silently on TV
J Nicholson
is raging with an awesome scorn
at K Bacon.

I know then
that detox can hold few delights.

The Way Things Happen by William Taylor Jr.

It is Monday morning, downtown,
I am on my way to work.

On a sidewalk corner
a woman is handcuffed,
surrounded by uniformed men

who have been granted the power
to do such things.

The woman meets my stare
with eyes of hopelessness,
despair, and empty rage.

I have been there,
I may be there again.

And you might ask
if the woman is any more guilty of anything
than the men who put her in the back
of a car to take her to some ugly place,

and I might answer
I don't know
and it wouldn't matter if I did.

Across the street
a woman in another kind of uniform
runs for a bus.

She is still half a block away
as it stops to let the people file
off and on.

Hold the bus,
the woman yells,
hold the bus.

A few people give her
blank glances
but no one holds the bus

and it pulls away
as she reaches the stop
out of breath and clutching her chest.

A man coughs and drops
a losing ticket on the ground
and that's the way things happen.

Two Poems by Suzy Devere


nothing about you is familiar
no look
no quip
no smell

the fleeting thoughts that were once
centered around making you mine
now find everything but you

there's no magic that can make this

but sartre took me through you
and your habits
explained them to me one by one
and you look foolish to me now
dumb in your security
false in your self-promotion
desperate in your little room
tired in your small life

and I'm down on my knees
giving thanks to a god I swore I'd never believe in
for delivering me
from you.


they like to ask questions
to get in there and remove memories that aren't theirs
like old shards of glass they think they can piece together
and glue to make a light bulb

but it never
lights up

it never really
illuminates anything except the fact
they're travel writers
writing about places they've never been.

No Name 2 by Zach King-Smith

When a man
sits down in
a room alone
for long enough
an iron silence
drapes over
his heart &
the walls &
the paper
blend together
in perfect

The only
sound is
that of the
cat purring
the silence
of the heart.

Storm the
Bastille &
rejoice for
you have
no name
but on


Two Poems by Rob Plath


i might see spring as a charlatan
but still i plant flowers in may
chinese lanterns & morning glories
beneath the beige chipped shingles
& the gray cracked foundation
outside my tiny apartment

i might see the sun as a giant zippo
under our flimsy flesh britches
but still i walk about & light cigarettes
& flirt w/the flames by blowing smoke
back at its towering lethal tongue

i might see silence as the only real language
but still i humbly mumble these lines
to the landscape & to any creatures
within ear shot in order to gently break
the lonely lull

the worst kind of junky

there are junkies
of all kinds

but the worst
by far
is the junky
of beauty

while the fiery sea
of agony
surrounds them
swallowing their
fellow man
they do not see
beyond their
hypodermic needle-binoculars
that focus only
upon beauty

they push the plunger
& inject
a sunset
a starry sky
a tree
a waterfall
into their eyes

& their rods & cones
quit trembling
from the fix

& their eyeballs roll
back inside their
& they sigh

overlooking the millions
of blistering, charred hands
reaching up
out of
the flames

The Lone Wolf by Karl Koweski

she’s lying against me
this anonymous woman
in this anonymous room

she touches the wolf
tattooed on my chest
and asks if I consider
myself a lone wolf

and of course the
answer is no
lone wolves are weak
disposable, incapable
I’m the alpha male
I’m the strongest
I lead the pack, baby

she nods her head
in complete understanding.
is that why you backed down
when that dude wearing
the leather jacket
knocked the beer
out of your hand
and called you a pussy?

you saw that...



"We must be careful."
"We must?"
"Yes. We must."
"But why?"
"You'll know soon enough."
"Will I?"
"Yes. You'll know."
"But how will I know?"
"When 'It' happens."
"When what happens?"
"But how will 'It' manifest itself?"
"You'll see, and you'll know, and you'll think, 'So this is 'It'. This is how 'It' manifests itself.'"
"Until then. Watch out. Be on your guard. And pray."
"There is no other way."


The trouble with death is timing. For the relatives, for the doctors, for the dying. We steady ourselves for the impact of a life ending, perched upon the precipice, waiting to jump. But it doesn't come. We are helpless here. We have no control. We are in the dark of the Waiting Room and all we have is the waiting. But we know death will come. It has to come, but still it does not come. Seconds become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks and still it does not come. Months pass and still death does not come. There is only dying and more waiting. There is no end. So we try to live again. We begin to make plans. We think about a day in the future when there is hope. And that, finally, is when death comes...........~~~~~~___________.

Don't Do It, Esmerelda by Chris Malaise

You can't sing and you aren't beautiful or smart or witty, I've never heard you say a funny thing. You talk too loud and you talk too much. You play sexy with a cross-eyed, snot-nosed tongue licking out the side of your mouth like it's going for ear, voodoo doll face and you have this odor that I can't rightly compare to anything on earth and it sits in the back of my throat like mayonaise. I gag on the air that comes out of your lungs like it splits all the good air and shoots right for my life. You gang bang the simple sentiment with child-like enthusiasm, stealing everything perfect from perfection and then your blush makes everyone feel guilty for wanting you dead. You keep showing up late just when everyone is certain that you didn't hear about the occasion and then apologize for being late and play so sweet we have to all suffer in silence.

You make fashion designers drink. heavily. You make me crazy. You are always smiling and you are always laughing and you find this fucking grace to the people who are mocking you and you forgive them by going to the bathroom to cry. You make me sit next to you and I can't stop walking beside you and you walk in front of traffic without noticing traffic so that I throw myself in front of traffic and then you throw yourself in front of me who was throwing myself in front of you.

What is that you find so worthwhile about the world, silly girl? Why do you get out of bed and leave the house and call me from the false pretense with such idiotic sincerity? You have to be stupid to be happy in this world. I am so smart. I want to thorn vine my throat and jump off the crown of the earth and catch in the eyelids of the atmosphere so my neck snaps just before I lose gravity and I slip from the blue eye like a tear.

But then who would protect you? Who would remind you that they aren't laughing with you, they are laughing at you? Who would be there to tell you exactly what you are capable of and be embarrassed for you when you try to do more? How would you know that they aren't being sincere, that they don't love you and they will never love you. Without me, my love, you might not even notice that they're there.

Yes, baby, they are. And they hate us.

Don't you do it. Don't do it, Esmerelda. Don't you turn into something beautiiful right before my eyes, I want to fist fuck my funeral procession. Don't you make me smile and slip duct the black-eyed night time with some kind of fantastic foreign feeling that I can't put into words.

Don't you point out the beautiful music and the funny little bits and the wide shots of epic moments in crummy american/italian/french/Indian/Iranian apartments of simple human talking, humans like you and me. Don't you do it, don't do it, Esmerelda. The happiness of children in Egypt make giggles and nervous glance but to spite me, though it does quite excite me when you talk about it and show me the pictures and you get me everytime with your beautiful voice and your beautiful face and the way you wear those rags and got damn it all to hell, you've done it again, because you know how I hate to be negative and how it tears the peace of mind right out my mind to use the lord's name in vain and I guess I was just raised that way and I do hold on to those silly, silly supersticions and I want for there to be a happy ending and it kills me, you know it does, to end it any other way, and I'll never do that to the world.

No, I would never do that to the world. Don't you say that the world wouldn't do it to me. Don't do it, Esmerelda. I have written them, and not they, me.

Makes perfect sense.

Think I said something stupid. I didn't mean to offend. Think I must have done something foolish, yes I did it again, Esmerelda. I think I felt a little bit awkward and tried to better everything by distracting the attention of the sleeping ciritcs by dropping a stack of plates. I don't really think I write the world, I'm not really talking to a particular girl, that's a lie, I'm always talking to one particular girl, I just change your name and hide you from them like you hide yourself from me and could it be, could it be, of course, of course, it's you, stupid bitch, from the floor of this ditch in that halo of moonlight I was so right about you and would take the beating five million times over for the soft of your hot cunt upon the first slip in. Let me say that again, I would take the beating five million times over for the soft of your hot cunt upon the first slip in o' my throbbing cock with a heartbeat beating on it's own in that cyclone pussy with funnel suction, I read every word of the introduction and the author's notes and the translator's favorite quotes but I still think he wrote you all wrong and that fucker gonna ghost gaze dawn with the smoking hole in the forehead of a body, spirit gone, for every word he said about you.

Because every word he said was true.

What else am I to do?




Something green and spring and there goes the ice age.

Breathing Seems Unnecessary by Miriam Matzeder

mad about loving
much as Henry Miller was mad about loving
prostrating himself before the unsheathed beast
taking it up the ass
for women who could never love him back
but mad at love, too
mad because it looks down its nose at me
it spits in my face and tells me i’m not good enough
it cums in my mouth
and sends me on my way
the audience blessing my heart only makes it worse
i’ll never forget
the Missouri State Fair that year
a two-headed cow, one head cognizant and chewing
the other, a lynching, and slobber
i wanted to shoot the smiling merchants
the wind i used to love
now hurts my skin
there is an urge
to suffocate myself
breathing seems


About Me

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

Blog Archive