8824 NE Russell St.
Portland OR 97220

Black Lamb


Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.


Black Lamb welcomes submissions from new writers. Email us.


If you have questions or comments regarding Black Lamb, please email us.

Archive for the 'Ryder' Category

Television knows best

But it was never meant to solve problems

March 1st, 2006


If you were born during the early days of television, then you were born into a time when the respective orbits of reality and fantasy were as far apart as they would ever be. Back in the Fifties, no one felt the need to point out the inherent deceit in Ozzie and Harriet, the violence in Looney Tunes, or the bloodiness of The American Sportsman. We were content to sit in front of the giant eye and let the phosphor glow do its work. Happiness is a warm tube.

It was not until the Sixties (a big, fat reality check if there ever was one) that someone ruined it for us all by suggesting that maybe sitting at the feet of an icon every evening like a supplicant wasn’t such a good thing. Maybe television really was sucking our brains dry, taking away the individuality, the singularity, and replacing it with a billion automatons. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was never the same after that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Ryder | Link to this Entry

All I want for Christmas

December 1st, 2004


All I want for Christmas is…

• For my Mom to wake up in the ICU and ask everybody why they’ve been yelling “Wake up!” in her ear for seven weeks.

• Every dam on the Missouri River destroyed.

• A driveway fifty miles long, like Ted Turner’s in Montana.

• For the seventy roosters next door to peck the eyes out of the redneck that uses them for cock-fighting.

• For the weariness and fear to leave my father’s eyes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Ryder | Link to this Entry

Invaders R Us

September 1st, 2003


You’re an eight-year-old boy. People are disappearing in the field out behind your house, only to return next day with a red scar on their neck and a cold stare in their eyes. First your father gets it, then two of his friends that go searching for him, and then your mother, too. Even the sheriff will go out to the sand pit to investigate and come back with the red mark and the cold stare.

At first, you try to tell others about this, to warn them, only every one of them gives you a look like it’s all in your head. As for your parents (what’s left of them anyway) they give you half a glass of milk, then tell you to go to bed and quit worrying about it, that everything will be better soon. In their mouths, “soon” sounds like an evil adverb.

“But I really did see a white ball of light fall into the field behind the house,” you tell them as you climb the stairs. “Maybe even a spaceship. I swear, it landed out near the sandpit, just beyond the back fence.”

They smile knowingly, but there’s a wicked conspiracy behind the smile, and you begin to suspect that adults have just been one big conspiracy from the start, spaceship or no spaceship.

The last thing you hear before you go to sleep is a cow bellowing out near the sandpit. And then it stops suddenly, and you know its ass is now grass, too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Movie Issue, Ryder | Link to this Entry

God in an awful mood

June 1st, 2003


I’d like a head count of how many people get slaughtered in the Old Testament. It has to be in the millions, or gazillions, maybe even infinity plus one. It’s really a murder fest, and if you go there searching for comfort, as I did here recently in a time of need, then what you’re liable to find is a lot of locusts, leprosy, Sodomites, stories like the heartbreaking binding of Isaac, angrygodand in and amongst all of that, people being drawn and quartered, burned at the stake, stoned to death, and generally dying in droves.
It can be a terrifying place to visit.

God just seems to be in an awful mood in the Old Testament, and I’m not sure that I blame Him. I mean, He’s given everybody the great gift of life, and love, and this beautiful blue ball of a world, and yet look what they were doing at the time with that gift.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Ryder | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

Gene Ryder, a singer-songwriter, was a recording artist for a major label for a time. He has now turned his hand to fiction writing. He lives in Virginia. His two Black Lamb columns are called Massive Coronary and Homestead Journal.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Ryder | Link to this Entry


  • Blogroll