Memory Of Vincent by Doug Draime

He had everything down
to an exact science,
he said, as he arranged
his sparse belongings
in his cardboard dwelling,
to make room for me.
There was a stack of
newspapers in the corner
and a picture of a little girl
in a small silver frame.
sitting on top.
It was a snug fit but there was
more room in there than I had thought.
Once I was in and turned to face out,
I noticed a large backpack
and a small Coleman stove neatly packed
in a corner by the entrance.
He pulled out a pint of cheap whiskey,
that we’d polled our money to buy.
We shared the bottle,
talking about the hostility
of downtown L.A. cops,
but nothing about ourselves;
Nixon was president
and we both hated him.
The rest of the time we sat quietly drinking and
watching the nine to fivers
drive down Hill street for home,
without a bit of envy.

ruined— by steve calamars

Frank parked the car in the alley behind the building. He climbed the fire escape to the third floor and peered in the window.
The apartment was one room and poorly-lit. The television was on and JR was sleeping. He was lying on his back beneath a slow-spinning ceiling fan.
Frank jiggled the window and it wasn’t locked. He opened it quietly and stepped in. He walked over to the side of the bed and stood over JR.
JR just snored and scratched his beer-gut. Frank felt sick and swallowed hardly. He clenched his fists and flexed his calves.
He pulled a hunting knife from his waist-band and cut JR’s throat. JR’s eyes shot open and he grabbed his neck. Frank buried the knife in his beer-gut and twisted. JR was motionless before he could amass any defense.
Frank wiped the blade clean on the bed sheets and went into the restroom. He puked in the sink and blew snot-rockets on the floor.
After he composed himself, he washed the vomit down the drain. He rinsed his hands and face. He looked at the floor and expected to feel better.
Frank only felt the same. He had killed the man who raped his wife and could sense no real improvement . . .
Frank stood in the bathroom and experienced no difference. He still felt sick to his stomach. He looked in the mirror and prepared to get rid of the bodies. He was thinking concrete, chains and the bottom of Lake Travis.
He walked back into the room and wrapped JR’s body in the bed sheets. He hoisted him over his shoulder and carried him down the fire escape.
He popped the trunk and set JR’s body inside, beside that of his wife’s.
He had killed JR for ruining his wife. Frank had killed his wife for having been ruined—

Two Poems by Rob Plath

the whores of Time

the hands of the clock
are both whores

two slutty sisters
making their rounds

the petite one
seemingly less aggressive
but a tramp still

perhaps the worst
of the two

fooling us more than
her straight forward sister
into believing we possess her

then inching away
right before our eyes

hiding inside a bottle within a cloud of smoke w/absolutely no wishes

as if

to be
into a
yr an

to have
had lovers
who were

a country

yr every


& 6th

advice to recently married men by Justin Hyde

she's going to sit you down
and tell you
she's lonely
lonely lonely
as a lost earthworm.

you're not going to
one bit of this.
all you ever want is


but her eyes will water
she will emit words
and gesture with her hands.

in turn
eyes dry as sandpaper
you will emit words
and gesture with your shoulders.

ebb and flow
this boomerang vector
as the universe
squats haunches
and scratches
behind its ear.

Physical For An Old Woman Picked Up Wandering by Donal Mahoney

Between her legs a goatee
gray as city pigeons
flying through factory smoke
a goatee that hasn’t been combed
that hasn’t been kept
that quits in fangs
an inch above her knees

STILL NOT HAPPY by Chloe Caldwell

Amazing girlfriend, ugly lover, still not happy.
That is what you wrote in inky blue pen inside your journal that I was
reading after you’d left for San Francisco.
Your amazing girlfriend was in D.C. to give a lecture on art history.
I was the ugly lover left in Manhattan.
Cozy on your bed, my thighs sore from sex
(my eyes sore from the sentence)
reading your private thoughts
smoking your pot
and eating your leftover colored Easter eggs.
I’d always assumed I was your beautiful lover.
Now I was nauseated---
Your livid lover.
Finding out you are not pretty is similar to
finding out Santa Clause doesn’t exist
or you won’t be a famous hip hop dancer,
Broadway star,
or writer, after all
I hurled your maroon journal straightforward as hard as I could.
I hated your maroon journal; I hated your maroon sweatshirt;
I hated you.
The journal knocked down the blue glass holding the single daffodil
I’d picked for you
Earlier that morning we’d both agreed the contrast of the royal blue
and lush yellow was just right
We'd looked at each other, happy with our masterpiece, in love.
Now I wanted to take the daffodil back
I wanted to burn your journals and smash your bongs
Suddenly I hated that you had the money to live in the East village and I had
to live in condemned apartments in Brooklyn with broken toilets.
I never told you about my insufficient funds.
You never told me you thought I was ugly.
I put on your maroon sweatshirt with the hood over my head and left
I walked around alphabet city with headphones on listening to Blood on
the Tracks.
No one would bum me a cigarette because I was ugly
I climbed the stairs back into your 9th street apartment
Defeated, depressed
Thinking about how cigarettes make you uglier, anyway.
Your cat with the ear infection, Moochie LaRue, had vomited on the
checkered floor
I had this idea of smashing the hard-boiled eggs into it with my Doc
Marten and creating a vomit egg salad.
Then smearing it onto the keys of your typewriter
and onto your maroon moleskin.
But I cleaned it up because I loved you.
I slept sad in your bed without you.
I woke up to a rainstorm.
Stole some quarters off of your dresser to get a coffee across the street.
The barista gave me bad service because I am ugly.
I sat on your stairs drinking coffee listening to Blood on the Tracks.
I was trying to look pretty during my pity party.
The next morning I left for Berlin.
It was in Berlin two months later
While I was staring out a window eating a banana
After sleeping on the floor dreaming of your voice
remembering how you used to tell me to peel them from the bottom like
monkeys do
that I realized:
I was so angry that you thought I was ugly,
that I forgot to concern myself,
with you not being happy.
And I wondered how you were doing.
And if you decided to go on meds or not.

So Fucking Smart by Suzy Devere

i make an excuse and beg a little


can i have just a minute sweetheart?

push the top of my tongue to the back of my mouth
pretending to suck on a candy simply
so i can keep myself from shouting
deeply disturbing observations about
your borderline personality
that you will never
(i promise you, ever)
get over if they happen to leave my mouth



like a fifties wife i squeek

"sweetheart, i understand"

and i know i'm keeping the knife that is my tongue
sharp in the drawer of my mouth for one more night
and i count how many ways i am a failure
for not leaving you
or telling you
i am smarter than i act

but maybe i'm not that smart
because i can't give up the
game even though i'm losing

what's that they say about Einstein?
if he's so fucking smart
why is he so fucking

Back Into It by Damion Hamilton

This man had been a monk for years
And came back into the civilized streets
His beard was down to his knees
His eyes were wild,
His clothes very worn
And he smelled very bad
And he staggered as he walked
But he went off into the woods to think during
Those years, but he became curious about everyone
So he went back into it
When he approached the city, he was in
A stupor, with all the cars, and the people and the noise
And the smells which came from the city,
He remembered cars before he went away,
But when he came back—the cars seemed strange and
Dangerous to him
Then he noticed the clothes people were wearing,
And it all seemed so strange, and the hair styles,
He was startled, by how alike everyone seemed,
For when he was in the jungle, he had time to style
His own hair, and make his own clothes
The faces of the people seemed nervous and anxious
And cruel, and the way the building were made
Seemed horrible, like a womb upon the earth
The people moved fast, and the cars moved fast, or
If they were not moving fast, the faces and the bodies
Seemed lost, or out of place, and crippled
He remembered those days, were he would stare
At his thumb or foot, for hours,
And the thoughts and feelings this awakened in him
He saw the people moving, and one could see that they
Did not have the time to think or feel, things must be done
And there was little thought or feeling from generation to
Generation, and people would only knew what their parents knew,
If they learned that much, progress didn’t seem to be very much,
To him in the city
He walked along the various streets and whenever
He saw a cluster of crowds, he saw people talking
On portable phones, he wondered what
Could everyone be talking about, probably
Nothing too deep, things moved so fast
In the city
Then a policeman approached him, and he talked
Very fast, and he saw him wandering around for hours
And asked him for his ID, but he didn’t have any,
So they put him in handcuffs, and took him to jail,
Then remembered why he left the city
He waited for hours in jail, and the wait was
Horrible, then he thought that they might
Keep him in those walls forever, and this seemed
Too grotesque to him, and he had forgotten how
To tell time, and when you can’t tell time,
What’s the difference between an hour and eternity?
So he began banging his head on the wall to kill himself,
And this is the horror of jails
When the head doctors came in, they asked him his name
And about his personal history, asked was he depressed
Or anxious, and then gave various pills, then they wanted
To know why he was away for so long, after all civilization
Is so advanced and people were living longer, and we had the
Highest standard of living, and one will never get bored with
All the entertainment that we have: the movies, television, stereos,
The Internet, cars, baseball, football games, why would anyone
Want to leave all of this?
He told them about why he left and he told them about
How when the police officer had him in the back of the car,
How when they were driving along the neighborhoods,
With all the little houses, lawns and roads, and how every
Street looked the same, and how the walls cut people off
From each other, and how the long dull tasks one had to do
For years to own them, taxes that one had to pay, the envy
Which came from one’s neighbors, the gossip, rumors of war,
Schools, work and leisure
It all seemed too much for him
He began to weep, and told them, that he just wanted to go back
In the wilderness, were he was free to do what he wanted,
And couldn’t hurt anyone, and spend his days the way he wanted
To spend them, without any obligations to fulfill
They all looked at him very solemnly: a head doctor, a policeman,
A nurse, a social worker
They knew they would have to take him to the mental ward

Two Poems by Ross Vassilev


my hatred
like a black rose
twisted round my heart

my insanity
like barbed wire
tearing at my brain

I’ve got crooked legs

I’ve got $20 in my wallet
and my driver's license

I’ve got 33 years
smeared like shit on
a blank page

I’ve got a photo
of a pair of boobs
someone e-mailed me

no face, no name

I wonder who the fuck she is?

fuck everybody

my grandfather was
an asshole
even when sober
but when he got
drunk every night
on rakia
that’s when his
demons came out:
screaming at
his bald head with
a Hitler mustache
looking like
the Devil himself
till he finally
crawled into bed
round midnight
and slept. his inner
demons wouldn’t
let him be and
I wasn’t there when
he finally croaked
so I’m just guessing
what his
dying words were.


About Me

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