Two Noir Poems by C.W. Blackwell

Punk Noir Magazine

Sonnet for a Convenience Store Robbery

The door chime foreshadows your final shift.

He strolls in, capillaries blown to shit,

a cloth mask and a beat-up trucker hat.

He could be anyone, strutting the aisle

like he’s on some routine midnight beer run,

a gig-worker who ran out of Camels.

But now he’s glowering those vicious eyes,

flashing a janky silver revolver—

screaming about the money in the safe.

You freeze. Mind skipping. Legs locked and heavy.

The sound of the shot never registers,

but it burns like an ember in your chest

as he bolts with a blood-soaked wad of cash

—leaving you slowly decoupling this world. 

Ocean Street

Midnight finds you behind the Arco station, 

kneeling in the rainbow-slick road 

as a wild winter storm drowns the city.

Soles go splashing into nightshadows, 

echoes in brick alleyways, scabby 

motorhomes creaking on their axles. 

Emily lies rigid and blue-turning in the 

crook of your arm, gray foam dotting her 

mouth, an ambulance wailing distantly.

Stay with her till the sirens wind down,

stay till the Narcan needle unsheathes— 

then become like street-rain, 

slipping silently to the river.