S&R Poetry: Two poems by Colin Dodds

CATEGORY: LitJournalPoetryOur Ineluctable Deal

Men fear for the cook in the kitchen,
with her pint glasses of vodka.

“She’s really needy tonight,”
says the man to my left.
“You know, we all have our deal,”
says the bartendrix.

And, well, yes. And, yes, indeed.
We’ve each negotiated our deals
down to the minutest point.

And now the needle’s on the record,
the rubber’s on the road and we’re in a bar,
pitying the cook, enumerating
our own real and imagined afflictions

and slyly hinting at our plans
to rise from the dead
on the third day.

The New York Ouroboros

The day taints,
from the forced march of the morning
to the sun-wrecked afternoon.

The sun makes its low circle,
lights the office windows
in our hour of usefulness.

Our Lady of Windows
watches the streets fill
with her statue-blank eyes.

Even the men who sleep in doorways,
the leaky ghosts with shredded bowels
mad from the sound of it all,
are half healed by her, and thank her profusely
for the hand that hits them, for everything.

On the subway concourse,
businessmen and cleaning ladies
exchange rosary beads at rush hour,
hailing Mary over and over again
like an enormous wheel wobbling.

An unconsciousness
stronger than my own
runs through all of it.

The New York Ouroboros
is a subway, with a face on either end.
And they stare each other down
for longer than I can watch.

The skyline regulates heaven.
Night is dark and forty stories high.

Up too late, the city
translates me back to myself
with something missing
and something inscrutable inserted.

What goes on
is more than science and history.
What goes on
waits for poetry to grow up and become worthy.


Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including 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.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poems have appeared in dozens of publications, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.

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