the outsider by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

my neighbor from upstairs
claims that
God sticks
post-it notes on his
fridge overnight

I did ask him
what they said but
he only told me that I'll
have to follow
him to church if
I want to find out

I'm generally not a very
curious guy
so I declined
and, what do you know, few
days later I see
lots of other
people following my
neighbor to church

They all looked the
other way when
I passed by them and said hi

Thing is
I don't even doubt
God spoke to my neighbor
through post-it notes
and gave a lot of people hope

I just
like being the outsider
more than I like
being hopeful

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raccoon by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

always cold in the north

perhaps coming here
was a
mistake after all
It's not so much the weather as
it is the ever gray sky

It favors depression

Lack of sunlight
lack of vitamin D

He walked his dog around the
block
and counted zero smiles
out of sixty-three faces seen
and passed by

The block was no fun
so he followed the dog into the
back alleys. It
picked up on
some
smell

and the smell grew potent enough
that even he
was beginning to feel it

Not pleasant

He expected a dumpster

But found two dumpsters
and a homeless
old man huddled between
them
Ragged to threads
holding a dead raccoon on his lap
eating from its flesh

raw
and bloody

Aw shit, he whispered.
Maybe this place
ain't so bad
after all

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cave of forgotten gods

all right,
that sounded like good advice

Put your room in order first
and then your thoughts

Sure

He started looking around the room
for things that were
to be thrown and things that were
misplaced

There were a few

There was a broken snowboard
on his bed
It had the image of a naked girl
painted along

he slept with it at night
and would often find himself placing
his lips over hers
and licking at her slim, long neck

She had to go
It was time to get rid of her
and break out of this
ridiculous lifestyle

He grabbed it
Looked at the girl for a good minute
and decided to place the snowboard
under his bed

He knelt
by the side of the bed and looked
under

Alas, she had no room in there

There was the forgotten cave of
dead gods
he no longer thought about
And it was full

There were body pillows with
brown stains
Hardened socks
Doll heads
A teddy bear with a hole carved between
the legs
A drinking glass stuffed with
dishwashing sponges wrapped in plastic bags
Magazines with crumpled pages
Pictures printed on A4 paper
Sealed jars that contained small figurines
covered by a thick, brown substance
like melted wax

Those were the gods of nights
long past
They had their share of his worshiping
and had been abandoned
to rot away

There was simply no more room
for the present god
to be disposed of

“Funny,” he said
looking at her from above. “It's like
all the ones who came before you
had passed down their blessings
onto you. I… I am sorry I tried to get
rid of you, love. I’m such a fool! Don’t
strike me down, please. I’ll… I can only
try to make up for it.”

He placed the snowboard back on
the bed and
ripped two pieces from a paper towel
and placed them over the middle
of the snowboard
where the painted girl’s nakedness was exposed

He pulled his pants down
and mounted her

Rubbed his penis against the
paper towels
and showered the girl’s face with
kisses
while apologizing and shedding tears
for wronging her so much

By the time he came he
felt forgiven
and cleaned the stains that made it past
the papers with his mouth

Failing Forward by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

Mafalda by Quino

in high school he repeatedly told her that he was saving himself for marriage and eventually she left him alone but after graduation she approached him yet again and this time he told her that he was focusing on his career as a writer they both had their dreams and they kept dreaming and fighting to accomplish them, insisting and getting up from every defeat failing forward as some would say It took decades but eventually both of their dreams came true they were married and he still hadn’t struck a deal with any publisher but made a relatively okay income self-publishing he wrote for a very narrow niche very trashy erotic fiction and his lovely wife helped him with inspiration and research “C’mon,” he urged her, “moan a bit harder, cry some too.” she did as she was told as he went around her with the…

View original post 17 more words

a king in his castle

at 08:22 he awakens and pushes
away the tarp he uses as blanket

he’s already dressed up
and wears shoes

looks around at the blackening
dampness of the walls

stretches a bit

takes off his coat and
the blouse
and the shirt
and the tank-top

grabs a tissue
wets it with rubbing alcohol
and uses it to wash his
armpits. He knows it’s good for killing
the bad smelling bacteria

He knows much about how the world works
for he’d been to school and even
one year of collage in his youth

When his armpits dry
he dresses up
and gets out and checks under the
big flower pots that stand before the
entry to the building

He is wise to keep his savings there
Otherwise the others would’ve
smelled it on him and would’ve
robbed him a long time ago
He counts the money
and feels satisfied with the sum

At 09:30 he eats a warm meal at the
local soup kitchen
and turns down
four bums who ask to borrow money

At 10:10 he walks up to the
big casino and
enters

Now his imagination kicks in

Behind the entry
he is greeted with luxury, he walks
on the red carpet
and sees the bright lights
and the game attendants who greet him
like a king

He is the king in his vision
and he had returned to his castle

He smiles
and walks around leisurely

A man needs to have but a clear
vision of a bright future
to live a happy present

He finds a seat
in front of a slot machine

puts the money into
the bill acceptor
and starts playing

He is one of the happiest
customers the casino
ever had

sometimes I think I’m just too good for you by Bogdan Dragos

He jumped off the building and the metallic wings carried him high towards the clouds where others like him swam in absolute bliss but then something hit his head and he woke up turned around in bed and realized there was blood trickling from his eyebrow The girl besides him was holding a stapler in […]

sometimes I think I’m just too good for you by Bogdan Dragos

a dead body in the room

there was a dead body in the room

Had to be

Else where did the smell
come from?

Every time he’d turn around to catch
a ghost or a zombie
from the corner of his eyes the smell
would slap him

A smell of death

He decided he’d look around for the
dead body
but later

He didn’t have the energy now
or the disposition
or anything

He only wanted to sleep
some more
He just woke up and needed a good
nap to recover

Perhaps there were times when it
didn’t make sense
but now, today, nothing made more
sense that this

All you need is a healthy
dose of chronic depression and it makes
sense

Just like not cleaning the room
and not taking a shower
in a time longer than memory can be
bothered to remember

So he paced back to the bed
and climbed in
and dragged the blanket, heavy with
caked dirt, on his body
and closed his eyes

He fell asleep in spite of
the smell of death
coming closer still

The dreams were always a little bit better
in the nap taken after
waking up from
the night’s sleep

One time he even dreamed he
was a published author. Not a great or
even a good one, but published

childhood’s villain

Father used his fists
a lot
Though never on the kids

On the walls
and the furniture
and the doors
and the mailbox
and the fence
and the neighbors
and random people on the street
and strangers in the bar
and a few times the poor dog
and one time on mother

He was the childhood’s
villain

To defeat him one had
to become a hero

and becoming a hero
took time

And today
after all this time
the villain of childhood
was dead

He died at the hands of
some other character,
a neutral one

A cop who told him to
drop to the ground
and father didn’t
so he got shot

That was it
The end of his saga

Utterly unsatisfactory
anticlimactic
disappointing
just bad

There was no final showdown
between hero and villain

because those things
only happen in
childhood
and childhood had ended a
long time ago

open casket funeral by Bogdan Dragos

Gobblers / Masticadores

what would be the reason to have an open casket funeral? Why should the living see the dead? He addressed the questions to no one in particular but his dead wife answered from the picture on the wall "Don't you wanna see me, darling?" "Not like that, I don't," he said. "That's why I have your portrait. So I don't have to look at your dead body in the casket. But your mom wouldn't understand..." "Darling, I think you're the one who doesn't understand. And I think it's time we talk about your therapist." "What about my therapist?" "You tell me. You tell me why did she have to tell you that she's single now and looking to settle. I thought she was supposed to help you cope with the premature death of your wife, not tell you her problems." "Dear, please..." "And one more thing. I don't like the…

View original post 99 more words

rice and walnuts

“I fucking hate rice,” she
told me. “And I’m beginning
to kinda
hate you for loving it.”

“Shit,” I said, “what
did rice ever
do to you?”

She opened her purse
took out the pack of smokes
and fished one out
with her lips. “Fuck,” she said,
looking for the lighter.
“I think I still
have the pits in my knees…”

“What?”

She shrugged. “I was a little girl,
alright, and whenever I
did something that my dear grandma
considered naughty she’d
pour raw rice in a corner
of the room and make me kneel
on it and just stand like that for…
I don’t know, hours.”

“Really?”

“Really!” She blew the smoke
in my face. “To this day,
bitch still wonders
how I could steal her savings
from the pension. I didn’t
even need the money. I just hated
her guts is all. And now
I hate rice. And you.”

“Well,” I said. “I never stole
from my grandma. And to
this day I don’t hate walnuts.”

“What?”

“Yeah, that was my version
of the punishment. I knelt on
shells of walnuts just
like you with the rice. And I
don’t hate ’em.”

She blew more
smoke in
my face

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