January 1, 2015

POETRY BY 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 thecolindodds.com.



The Saints Go Marching Out



Living all alone like this
Is a lot like living on a pier
It ain’t good and it ain’t bad
But you go through a lot of beer


Keeping my chin up, my head down
Lost in a misinterpretation
Wandering this third-rate town
With my fifth-rate education


Past the digital jukebox
And the loud high fives
We talk over each other
We talk for our lives


You thought I’d given up
But you couldn’t be sure
I may be a fuckup
But I’m no amateur


I never know the hour
Or the very minute
But there’s a point in the night
When there’s no profit left in it


It isn’t at six, or even at ten
The real sun sets at last call
Wherever unwanted men
Neuter themselves with alcohol




The Sermon in the Hole


The rain sweeps the street,
calls the old drunk out of his stool,
stirs him to pronounce the sermon in the hole.


“Liquor alone will not save you,”
he promises.


“The Jim Beam in your eye,
the Wild Turkey rising from its ashes,  
the Old Oversoul of Old Overholt.


“There is no binge that won’t pass.
The names of God are so much grass.


“The guy you say you are
is only a scaffolding cathedral
built on the back of an itchy dog.


“So?


“Do you dare pray the prayer, pull the blue wire,
that takes everything, even the prayers,
apart?”


I lower my head to my drink,
in a momentary ritual
by which I approve of myself


and dodge exorcism
for one more night.

~Colin Dodds

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