Snack and Caffeine Free Soda Break by Kevin Ridgeway

The adult daycare sanitarium
for the full-time
and part-time adult insane
opened at eight o’clock each morning

A long line of glum faces
extending from the fleet of
white van trolleys to the front desk,
where you signed in
and they handed you
three loose stale cigarettes.

Two group sessions drooled on
in monotonous stupors until noon
when we dined on
Thanksgiving turkey
and imitation cranberry slivers
with a teeny weenie
2 percent milk Dixie cup wash-down

One more group—a choice between
substance abusers or finger paints
followed by
a snack and caffeine free soda break
all of us wearing
our broken people costumes

Our deflated hangdog face masks,
medicinal vapors
pouring out of them
on the outdoor picnic benches
drenched in bitter sun
sipping on what
amounted to bubbling sugar water

Stowing away our
meds in our cheeks
for a stoned winter

Some of us made it,
and some of us will be back
for another round

Two Poems by Jay Passer


in the back room of the old shingle factory
they draw furiously
and the model keeps running to the bathroom
to puke
and someone points out how poor the light is
someone else complains that the pose is too rigid
and yet another artiste resents that the model
is constantly running off to puke:
fuckin’ junky!

there in the dusty back room
of the old factory building
where every Thursday night
they draw furiously
as if invoking
the wrecking ball.


I always end up
stuck in some room
with the lights off
pondering the infinite
shades of darkness
cast in a skull.

the ease in which
prone on my back
I ignore the alarm
of simply being
is enough to blind
every bird alive.

daylight slinks
through drab curtains
as I clutch for reasons
to keep up the farce
the utter travail
and insidious yearning.

I always end up
waiting for the bus
on some dirty street
sun and clouds
like the rent
hanging over my head.

the love of a nihilist asshole by Martin Leonard Freebase

you are asking me meaningless questions
making me think of things that I would prefer to avoid
you go to work on me with an ax
having a wonderful time of it
singing or rather humming some forgotten tune
sometimes it comes out just like you want it
the mere mechanical business
greasing all of my gears
seeing to it properly
the discomfort is an aid
or a bit of a stimulant
an electric cattle prod up the ass
putting juice to your demonic nature
killing the thinking animal
it is bad to think
I would rather have you feel
I'm not selling hope anymore
it doesn't last
as soon as i open the door
out it runs down the street
and gets hit by a car
then I'm in the middle of the street
crying because hope is dead
eventually I stop buying the shit
and I rip out that part in me
where hope lived
at our feet is an underworld
the first light of the death angel
new ranks are thinning
a hungry tug of desire
your claim for broken substance
standing against the wall
dark whispers reaching down
different words from god
violated by the madness
the stain of a dream
that has always been
a good kind of crazy
one you can sink your teeth into
together again
like dogs and angels
two people across the street
filled with doubt and self-pity
a helpless blue
painted on your heart
it beats a sticky pink
like the gums of angels
before sin enters in
all up and down
deep into the creature
out of the bottom
without a name
hot shooting in a cold medium
out your eye
around the curves
sick with fear
we all know the sleep
in the cemetery of the soul
the curse of death is in the blood
no more locks on your doors
a strange sense of love
your prison is self-made
the truth is your rejection
half torn and numb
a lifetime of mutilation
fight the possibility
beat it out of you
like the raven's quarrel
everything possessed of searching
an unfamiliar turn
in the bitter celebration
an empty victory with spread legs
appearing as if by magic
pushed up so high
the bodies move as a miracle
grinding into each other
higher and high
a child of two continents
death weeps at noon
something real and impossible
the waste of a loaded laugh
here every morning
the people have words to say
but no one wants to hear
we only want to listen to the pretty
dancing images flickering on a screen
burning into our retinas
fabricating a lie in our brains
it is a hostile condition
in their little dresses
carried and deposited by ancient angels
we play upon the frozen rock
it fell from heaven
tiny paralel lives
caught under the massive weight
pinning us down
short and tiny breaths
huge depressions
free reign over your soul
we are weak and swept aside
it is a continual battle
so hard to separate
with see-through eyes
a lovely dance filled with horror
my slaughter house memory
a few more left-handed shoves
hammer beating brains
as true as your insides
the blues into your cup
nothing I could say
someone had stolen my tongue
and it was boiling in a pot of water
sitting on your stove of hate
me inside of everything
my shell shocked and wounded heart
sucking up all that is left
every little morsel
not a crumb for a mouse
trying to hide from my hunger
thinking like a witch or a devil
leaning out your window sill
utterly pressed and depressed
busted layers of angel dust
they come alive inside me
growing through me
reaching the outside world
reaching you
with vacant eyes
using their knives
down sidewalks with beautiful looks
ths is where you slumber
you look uneven
putting you on the floor
the lights are just right
accusing me of hypocrisy
someday you become a productive human being
just like superman
collecting all your gold stars
putting them in this feeling thing
a giver instead of a taker
you were invented
I was trying to be socially responsible
when I ignored you
and placed you in the straightjacket
pointing you towards the lie

afterbirth by Ross Vassilev

there’s nothing
to do in this town but

I don’t like squirrels

...(angels of blue sky
where the clouds are

I don’t like children

I like empty yellow
cardboard cups
that people leave
beside lonely walls

there’s a kind of soft
grey light falling--

tricks of light are
an illusion

they’re the Gods
trying to send out
a frantic S.O.S.
over the Internet
of Time.

The Green River Killer by David S. Pointer

Once a California mother
repeatedly sold her 12
year old daughter into
prostitution then offered
the girl physical protection
against customer beatings
or other kinky abuse— and
that’s a lot more than any
of the Green River Killer’s
victims ever got, and Gary
Ridgway didn’t bother with
any acid bath body disposal
system, he just dumped all
the corpses atop the land
bodies nearly as numerous
as PCB barrels at a Super-
Fund clean up site in Holden,
Missouri then Green River
Gary reported to work
trying to save fellow
employees from a life
of inexcusable sin.

Timing Is Everything by Cynthia Ruth Lewis

He wants to take me again tonight
but I am not in the mood;
I haven't been for a long time
but I allow his hands on me
in his clumsy attempt
to get me wet
his hands
like sandpaper on my flesh
and his cock like a red-hot poker
inside me,
pushing and thrusting
and trying to encourage the flames
and I feel nothing
but rubbing and scraping
and I want to blurt out
that I didn't love him anymore;
maybe I never did
and I am holding my breath
and biting my tongue
and fighting a scream
wishing he would finish
and get off me
so I could breathe
and find my voice
and tell him it's no good,
it's just no damned good
but he would probably misunderstand
my words and turn his back
while he nurses
a bruised ego


About Me

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