Five Poems By Colin Dodds

Pic by Dazzle Jam



Spill-O and the Music Upstairs

The concert upstairs
and the coronal mass ejection
are just diversions

The real action’s below
in a temple like an insect

Spill-O navigates beds and bays
sacristies and stomachs, white on white
vanishing to an aperture like the navel of a balloon

Music above still audible
but he can’t sound the freedom, illumination,
or tremendous pressure beyond,

a crush of granted wishes,
– gods per square inch unbearable
until it gets yet more so and so on

With no rope for his ankles,
no way to undo a bad attempt,
he takes a deep breath and
absolves every companion


The Limit of Spill-O’s Immunity

Call it life or call it the world
It’s the punishment or the crime,
or the cover-up, or the prize
the crime is committed for
It keeps changing

Armored in fat and laughter, ensconced
in a naugahyde back booth, the indictment indeed
had it black-and-white: Spill-O was a lackey
to what he couldn’t entirely abide

They dumped the girl, a gullible but credible widow,
when they were done, in Times Square

And he forgot the names of those friends
in open court, claimed to sleep through what,
three generations hence, rattles the storm windows
of some Yonkers duplex and presses bloodguilt
through the fortifications of the present moment

onto Spill-O’s elbow
in the maroon back booth saying who me?
while flashing Agamemnon’s wristwatch –

getting off on one more scheme he doesn’t respect
getting over on his dopey better self,
who’ll get quiet but won’t get lost


Where Spill-O Is Looking

What would a better person do?
What would a better person think?
How would a better person feel?

The answers are so easy
they’re embarrassing

And Spill-O’s embarrassment
is a peephole into the whole
sorrowful history of man

As he peeps,
someone stands behind him, right
where he almost knows
he should be looking


Worse Than Mortal, Spill-O Was

I’m a middle-aged, married man
with a daughter and a full-time job –
All I do is lie, Spill-O let slip,
at the peak of the business trip

But there are more important things
than honesty:
Pizza and giggles
and domestic tranquility

There are just too many things
for life eternal to ever entirely
add up


Spill-O Interprets the Wind

Punning sidefather Spill-O
takes his derelict tribute
in the midtown whirlwind
of awnings and neon

Splendor and Urgent Care
flap and overlap
Starvation turns to Star Vacation
in an open-mic tribunal

The weakness of words
proves the storm’s strength,
seems to endorse long-standing demands
for dishonesty and shelter

Stop signs wag frantic nos
Brass clasps clang aluminum flagpoles

Worsening, the storm exposes
the futility of dishonesty and of shelter
A laughable futility! Spill-O tries to laugh
at the corner of minty plinth avenue
and birdy sticks street,
under attack by his own collar


About the Author

Colin Dodds is a writer with several acclaimed novels and poetry collections to his name. He grew up in Massachusetts and lived in California briefly, before finishing his education in New York City. He’s made a living as a journalist, editor, copywriter and video producer. Colin also writes screenplays, has directed a short film, and built a twelve-foot-high pyramid out of PVC pipe, plywood and zip ties. He lives in New York City, with his wife and daughter. You can find more of his work at