Locked Psych-Ward, New Jersey, USA by Joseph Hargraves

The first rays of sun illuminate a Fantin-Latour
Bouquet in the nurses station while forcing
Morning clouds to sing a coloratura extravaganza.

If I had friends, to heal me,
They would lower me through the roof
Of Peter's house in Capernaum
Into the lap of Christ.

Coontang by Catfish McDaris

On tv the Turtleman, America's
answer to the Croc Hunter sat next
to Eddie Murphy talking about
catching possums & coons

Eddie tried to keep cool with his
goofy grin, but every time the word
coon came out of the redneck's
mouth, you could see him pissed

The Skunk Whisperers dressed like
varmint Texas Rangers went up on
a roof with a garden hose & sprayed
a coon in the ass to get it from a tree

Reminded me of Magnolia, a sex
machine with chocolate cantaloupes
& a mojo watermelon smile, she was
a stinky wet dream come true

I'd scrub both her nasty places &
armpits, then after fake orange juice,
vodka & bongs, we'd wreak havoc
like Thelonius Monk & Max Roach.

Oil and Water by Sarah Gamutan

We walked in a wonderland
where beauty never slept. We
thudded like we ruled that time.
We were ambitious, we strolled

with high heels and an unimaginable
grin. No more meek faces. Oh, but we
missed something. Our shirts got muck

at the back while the front portion spelled
"Save water, Drink beer." Embarrassing.
My chap said, " If you bang into this

door, that means you're pissed. Drink
water instead!" Then, we went our
separate ways. I went to heaven.

T E N by Sarah Gamutan

Some notes gave me
memorable stories whether this
room was loved or not. In this
room, I shared memories with some
musicians, lovers. Some of them were
cheaters, weepers, losers and mostly,
they were my counterparts. I hated the

scenery of unfinished tones, how they
didn't reach an octave, the way it gave the
worst sound in my ears - monotonic, copied.
Once, my counterparts considered music as
one boring college class that they blamed
how it defined different kinds of people,
how it caught lives of my fellows which

they hid for a long time. We asked them
to sing, dance, play and strum it the way
they'd like it. These friends, who got great
looks, married rich men, got impregnated -
those who lived their own lives. I liked

the way they meant their own songs, far
better than Mozart or any classical men
who got stuck on my head when they
were pasted on the wooden walls. I
knew I'd be like them too - loved
and cared that I'd sing songs
on my wedding, that my mates
would sing with me too, that
after 10 years, hopefully,
I'd be married too.

life is fixed by Linda M. Crate

life spins backward
from the point of
origin from your
death which is as
certain as your birth —
just unknown by
human knowledge
which is limited
even in the most
wise words or
witty retorts, life
spirals backward
plunging us forward
into straights we much
rather avoid, sometimes,
but in the end are ways
we needed to take to
either grow or learn;
sometimes, both —
it’s a sojourn that
many take yet so few
take time to enjoy,
it has the brevity
of fog’s breath yet
many waste it chasing
after things that never
mattered anyway.

Black Seed by Black Seed by Donal Mahoney

Every day the same people
at the same table
at the rear of the cafeteria.
The maiden, 35 at least,

is gray at the temples,
sour at the mouth.
The widow, 55, waves
a cigarette like a wand.

Girdled and dyed,
she needs no one now;
She ministers to a dog
and has a new apartment.

The accountant, 65, wants to retire,
his years of intemperance
tempered by a stroke,
his anger at everything

suddenly gone. The janitor, 60,
explains over and over
how over the weekend
he snipped from his garden

husks of dead sunflowers
and drove them out of the city
and into the forest
and there in a clearing

spread the black cakes
for chipmunks to strip,
black seed by black seed.
I, a young editor,

“with your whole life
in front of you,” they insist,
sit through it all,
Monday through Friday,

spooning broth, buttering slices
of rye, and praying that after
pudding again for dessert,
the phone on my desk

will explode too late
with a call I’ll take anyway,
and that after that call, I’ll rise
and take from my sport coat

a speech I wrote years ago,
a speech I’ll discard for two lines
off the cuff: “Here’s two weeks’ notice.
I have found a new job.”


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