By Colin Dodds
 
 

Sleep Becomes Suspicious

The man on the beach is no hero
shouldering a shunted vocation
staying up one tiny night

He’d tried to live on circuses alone
and he’d failed

So sleep beckoned
Harry S. Truman, speaking of the bombs,
boasted of the ease and depth of his sleep

The cotton-candy town beyond the dunes
quieted to nothing and suggested
that the man on the beach do the same

But pursuing rumors that something important lived
where sleep becomes suspicious
and unwilling to be restrained
by natural or other restraints
he approached the farthest corner of night

where sleep steepens
grows grave and warns
that no mortal can take responsibility
for what they truly are

It demands what it before only implied:
He must close his eyes
or deserve the consequences
 
 

Grand Central

The curtain of oblivion
and the epiphanic veil
are woven of clowns

Outside, alibis fill every mouth
The hotel-and-gas-station alibi
for the light-scribbled emblem in an eyelid
The decorative alibi for the sphere
where cupping blossom meets arching claw

From the outside
a labyrinth is just a bare wall
This makes exegesis heroic

The destination emits delays
Then a man with a big red zero for a face
walks up and blows the God Whistle

And of the war
only a cathedral of explosions remains
to canopy the heart of an untouched tree
quietly gestating the emblems
of a yet-unborn oppression

Roots intruding through chambers only inferred
from the flimsiness of seemingness
to the bejeweled pillar at the center of the world
regardless of what the world means at the moment

spinning emitting the forms
of nations islands cuts of meat
as if fate had a taste for misshapenness

Upon approach,
a clown disengages from the drapes and cackles:
Tell tales of my piss when it all turns to wonder
knowing better than you know anything
that you’ll never find your way back to this place

knowing how assiduously ecstasy
closes off every path
by which it’s ever reached
 
 

The Incredible Snare

God
is a wild animal
half-domesticated by his own creation

And take my word for it
no one is more surprised by it
than Him
 
 

A Dusk

The lion of time is tired
Birds traverse his limestone yawn
The Vatican sprouts from a ridge
Inquisitions howl on the hillside
I add footsteps to a cacophony
Men play twilight chess under a tree
Making moves they’ve made before
The sun sneaks away under guard of cloud
Tourists like me amble past confused as newborns
 
 

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One Response to “Four Poems By Colin Dodds”


  1. […] Dodds contributed four poems to the Autumn 2015 […]


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