[A]bove us patrons, lost in our devotions
to the blather, the stunt and the oily coast,
a mood stitches the horizon down.

It is not dramatic, one more failure.

But it takes a thousand failures
to make a person, and a few billion people
to make us feel like this.

And god all muddy, here we are.

“What I do to entertain myself
is just that, what I do.
But all the while,
what I’ve really had in mind was…”
someone croons into the space
between jukebox songs.

Fraud our fodder,
give me something to say
to the man on my left, the woman by the door
and the bartender before me.

Anything except the scary silent prayer
that becomes the floors and doors
of this room.



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.