Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Five Poems By Colin Dodds

Colin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist in the 2015 Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.

Garage Door

I wasted all last night 
trying to talk my two-year-old cousin 
out of going on antidepressants

He heard me out 
But he wasn’t hearing it

I won’t repeat my argument 
But you can imagine it

It’s the same push-pull 
that preoccupies my afternoons

There’s an eye in us 
bigger than us 
an eyelid like a garage door
as heavy as we are strong 

We’re always 
busting a blood vessel
to slam it shut 
or jerk it open

And the door 
always moves too much 
and too late

Another Broken Wizard, a novel by Colin Dodds

Saturday Night

In the day all we see is wires
At night all we see is light

Dim damp raucous 
Saturday night sidewalks prove desire 

The bar fills with arias of howareya
Each drink transforms 
oppressors to liberators and back again 
open eyes alluring as a watery grave 

A who’s who of who’s that
The bartendrix giggling grapples a foam-spewing tap 
The bearded guy trying to pass for young Yahweh 
argues with a mohawked woman 
about how they should’ve been entertained
The tucked-in shirt checks his phone, concludes
This life is kind of a dud, isn’t it?

Everyone a dupe or double-agent 
watching the wrong card 
plotting to betray ourselves

Jugglers and tumblers 
juggle and tumble into a common oblivion
Just dying to dive into the earth or into one another 
that we may not die this night

The Pickpocket Tradition

Heavy hands and light fingers
abound about the Piazza San Pietro 

Stumps gesturing, a man sings
A woman common enough to be a type 
presses her wrinkled forehead into the ground 

In the shadow of the indulgence-funded basilica
tour guides of all languages and faiths hook tourists 
with promises of shorter lines 

Beside the dome, Sistine Chapel 
and colonnade of saints bracketing an obelisk
the ancient custom of saying it all with a straight face 
lives on

Knotting My Tie

In obligatory hours 
wrestling cufflinks
the wealthy dead whisper: 
All Is Sales

Knotting a tie, the mirror shows 
nature in the shadow of death
acting in kind-of-good faith

The nine-to-five tourniquet tightens
on whiteboard palimpsests of half-erased hopes
on calendars of days like cheap shirts—
too long wherever they’re not too short

Dreaming drycleaning 
and borrowing on authority I abhor
dressing for a minor battle 
in an undistinguished war

I check my collar 
like someone who knows 
he can’t afford bail

Heaven Unbuilt, poems by Colin Dodds

Prometheus in the Drizzle

At night, officetops meander 
through pink clouds of media 
like pieces in a board game 
with no objective

The sky ricochets between mirrored curtain walls
Little offices offer things like information 
and information like things
Large offices offer consultation or consolation

The avenue below is a firefight of glances
Fallen angels and risen devils punish one another 
for sex with sex and pretend everything else is afoot

The saints, who were supposed to have cleared all this up, 
grin from niches in pigeon-proof netting
pensioners in an empire of crap

Aerodynamic angels don helmets
on the skyscraper’s mezzanine frieze
entitled Prometheus Tries to Renegotiate—
where the first miserable mark of human grift
sternly rethinks his supposed gift

While in small mid-block barbershops 
that’ve been losing their leases forever 
women cut men’s hair and send them off like little boys 
to do untold damage
on this practice earth

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