Bogdan Dragos


“The angriest I ever got,” she said,
“Was with an ex-boyfriend, of course.
I just wanted him to die.
But like, not casual wanting him to die.
Really, really wishing with all my might
that he’d drop dead.
I felt I couldn’t go on living
as long as I knew he was alive.
I had to do something about it.
I was literally about to explode.
So, to prevent that, I got dressed
and despite the rain and all
I went straight to the nearest pet shop.
Bought me a hamster.
And with a red marker,
I wrote my boyfriend’s name
on its back.
And then slammed that hamster
against the wall 134 times.
For the 134 hours we’d been together.
I calmed down after that.
But, you know,
I don’t like talking
about myself all that much.
Tell me about yourself.
Also, what should we get
from the menu?
Have you decided yet?”

Puma Perl

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

A large guy in a cool hat dances in his wheelchair
He rolls by me singing a Ramones song
I trail behind him, we wind up on the café terrace
I drink coffee, he sips gin from a flask,
turns out he doesn’t need the chair all the time,
Just a pulled muscle, he explains, leaning on his cane,
Walk the exhibit with me, he suggests, throwing
an arm around me, rubbing my back through
my motorcycle jacket. We make out leaning against
Keith Richards’ signature and again in front of Tina’s
Private Dancer sequined dress, then we catch
the movie, he’s running his hand up my leg,
and I can’t decide whether I want it off me
or inside my pussy, so I compromise and move it
onto my tit and he rubs my nipple through
my t-shirt as we watch clips of past inductees,
reaches under my shirt in memory of Solomon Burke,
all around us Midwest mainstream America rocks
to Bruce, he slides his hand down my pants,
I cum in time to Shelia is a Punk Rocker
all in such perfect symmetry that I know
it’s time to go. As I make my way out, I hear
him singing One Way or Another along with Blondie,
seems like he’s that guy who knows all the words.

John Grey

Sam the Man

Couldn’t begrudge
his demons
lowering dead bodies
deep in the brain’s
demonic rivers,
or tossing them into
its ditch of flesh,
didn’t know how to pray,
his childhood
fell to the rear,
dropped into hell-fire,
and there was
the adult that never was,
the soul,
for lack of which,
he lived
with a basement cellar,
an old refrigerator,
full of names.

Willie Smith

Come Breakfast

Adrienne excels at jerking me awake.
Waits for an erection to betray I’m dreaming.
Insinuates her fist around the shaft.
Quietly bespits the knob.
Salutes – up and down – the pictures
moving through me, moving in on the plot.
This morning I’m bailing from a cockpit,
slipping into the stream, leaving the plane above,
plummeting rock-like, fumbling for the cord.
My thumb finally finds the ring. I rip.
The chute deploys a jellyfish of silk,
jerking me up – so fast the jerk
drops the acceleration of the fall.
The earth I now behold floating up at my face,
facing Adrienne’s laugh, as her frantic fist
makes to squirt between us me awake.
Smell on a bedside tray the toast,
the butter, the coffee, the jam.

Alan Catlin

The Firebird

She was wearing
this amazing short
short skirt with a
low cut top to match
made from fabrics
so way beyond loud
it made you wonder
if she was cheerleading
for some spectator
sport organized in
another dimension
parallel to ours
and she was so
bubbling over, effervescent
trying to make whatever
it was she wanted
understood, she spoke
in a tongue not readily
recognizable as something
that was spoken here
on earth, her efforts
made more complicated
by her warp hyper speed
buzzing and The Boss
screaming something
about being born in the USA
as if that were a big deal
in the background, so I
try hand gestures to help
out, pointing at items
behind the bar asking her
to select but it doesn’t
work out, becoming more
and more like some colorful,
futile game of charades
conducted by two inmates
of a locked-in ward.
Her t-shirt said,
BUMP and GRIND, gold lettering
on fading black and it looked
as if the shirt was made for a
much taller frame the way it
hung long at the arms and
shoulders, barely containing
the enormous bulk of her waist,
those thundering thighs only
a real Mack truck driving, hard
loving man could drive through,
an observation that led me to
believe that the shirt’s slogan
referred to his occupation as
an auto body repair man rather
than to hers as an exotic dancer

Judge Santiago Burdon

Elvis Jesus and Your Memory at Walmart

Left toothbrush-less,
mine pilfered along with shampoo
deodorant, razors and other such
found me wasted in Walmart
thieving gnomes at the last homeless shelter
being my main suspects

His name tag said ELVIS
greeting customers at the gate
navigating shopping cart jockeys
with cherubs riding shotgun
My request for location of items
is answered Presley style:
“Past Housewares,” he Hound-Dog
lip curled in reply

Among waffle irons and toasters
in an aisle devoid of housewife print skirts
your memory purchased my thoughts
forging past bedding, linen sheets
how we once tangled and ravaged
Is that your image disappearing
into Lingerie

JESUS on his employee name badge
suffering from price tag neurosis
“Love potion? We don’t sell that
vagabundo polo,” he growled
beneath picante breath

You told me I could find everything
I needed here, but not even Walmart
has what it would take
to make you love me again

I sure hope Target
is still open!

John Gartland


He was  holding forth in Bada-Bing,
In this year of the Yellow Death,
erotically deviant,  hilariously scandalous.
I’d read  those scattered fragments
of the satirist, Petronius,
knew drollery, outrageous acts
of lewdness, were  his thing,
and scorn for solemn moralists
until his final breath.

There’s a rash of visitations,
from  people doubtless dead
…..Into my dreams.
It’s the plague year, most confirmedly,
and in such times, it seems,
a mind most fears
the onset of infirmity and
sheds forgotten  fellowships and phantoms;
acts out those conversations never said;
sins yet untried, and outlawry  unransomed.
A lust for pleasure burgeons
in these miasmas of dread.

As  fumes of illegality laced air in the locality,
he caressed a fair companion of ambiguous sexuality.
Clearly, fruits of their society were coming to a head…

This keystone fragment I stole from ruins…

So, let’s raise a glass or two, he said
and scoff at turgid life;
prefer a brace of strumpets
to some temple-tethered wife,
and chart our decadent decline
with most audacious style and wit,
for scrofulous tyrants weigh our life
and roll dice for the price of it.

Now poetry and art are bonfires,
blazing by the river, where critics of the emperor
sink, disembowelled, together.

Reverberating rapper bars pump
fantasy and gangsta-chic but
Apuleius’ Golden Ass is all the fiction that I seek.
Lust and folly, like some Pompei meth-house, under ash,
are my worlds to immortalise, with cynical panache.

A death sentence hangs over us, by majesty decreed.
I took the knife to my own life;
hot ladyboys and harlots come, and watch my genius bleed.

Bogdan Dragos

some things can never be put back together

Some things can never
be put back together
after they’ve been
taken apart

No matter how much
willpower is involved

One of those things,
she now knew for sure,
was a marriage

Like the one
she was presently fleeing,
flying down the highway
like a fiend or a bat out of hell

Another such thing
could be her right hand
resting severed on the seat
there beside her

Though she wasn’t so
sure about the hand
Maybe if she made it
to the hospital in time?




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Willie Smith

Blowbang Pythia

She kneels in deck shoes and nothing else
unless you count her tattoos.
The acolytes from off-camera appear.
Surround her, as she sets to work
maintaining all six erect.
She deepthroats one after the other,
after the other, after again the one,
after another other, and so on,
in accelerating succession.
Till the choir takes the wheel,
soloing together –
backflipped beetle,
six legs pumping,
while she fingers herself till the boys climax,
and goo clots with a horror of ecstasy
her skull.
The lingams withdraw, spent,
while she gallops nowhere in a hell
of a hurry, yet on the knees,
riding barelip her fingertip steed,
blind with stud pollen, licking dollops,
camera dollying in to worship
each grinning, bitter gulp.