Colin Dodds

(Late Night, with Spill-O)

It was a week of mornings after.
Spill-O got motion-sick walking down the street
to his next defeat.

All his friends took him
on a ride, a walk, a drive over bridges, past grand vistas
to meet their drug dealers.

He went back to his apartment.
No one waited there. That was a sadness.
That was a freedom.

So late that it’s lost to history,
Spill-O walked from the bathroom
to his reading chair

and addressed the room,
its walls, lamp, dresser, table and bed
like a general nodding to his men.

And that night,
reality earned its name, and nodded back,
in its indescribable way.

(The World Closes in on Spill-O)

First came the millennium
Then the condominiums
Spill-O watched the cranes on the horizon

The tv offered up its hero interrogator
Because the land of the free
had gotten to that point

The smells of carpet shampoo and fresh plaster
made him dizzy
The new and transitory world
was inescapable and unaffordable

So he went beyond the realtors’ reckoning,
back to the sad, slow Gomorrahs
decimated by a neglect worse than wrath

Another uninquired-of stranger,
he crossed a gas station, walked beneath
a highway overpass named for him
when he had another name

And the whole ugly world
called out for Spill-O
to turn his guns inward

(The Time Spill-O Saw God)

He wasn’t supposed to.
But Spill-O saw God once.
And God was just enormous.

God sees everything,
except when He’s eating.

Back home, Spill-O saw clearly
that the sky was made of dragons.
But he had to let that slide.

An accurate worldview comes in
a distant second to living.

© Colin Dodds

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred fifty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The 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.” Dodds is also the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” 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. You can find more of his work at

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