Three Poems

- by Colin Dodds

It Will Have to Be Enough

The neon eye on the high wall pretends

to watch the hotel below change its name

for the 2014th time.

We used to argue

over who’d go down to the underground cities

when the bombs fell.

The international space station

blazed in the stained glass windows

of the diner.

Now I feel like the big trucks on the highway:

Their job will never be done.

Everything will never be where it needs to be.

Maybe it’s enough that the neon eye winks

or that the neon mouth speaks only smoke

and leaves the rest up to me.



My Lot

Born from doorways into rooms,

spat by buses and buildings into the street:

I am the prized infant

and the shit

the world can’t quite

scrape off its shoe,

all at once, every day.

Strange—to rise up like a god

in acumen and earthly esteem,

or be discarded like a scrap of trash,

all for nothing at all.

That is my lot.

And I am scarcely equal to it.

This is the story of the shit who shat.

Pick a number from a hat.


Billy Kelly Can’t Get a Dance

“Ain’t that America for you?

You give a girl a college degree

and she don’t want to dance no more.

It’s enough to make you sad,”

says Billy Belly.

That woman is naked under her dress

and won’t let you forget that.

She’s doing a dance I don’t know.

Billy, fresh from failure on the dancefloor,

tells me it’s hard

to squeeze love from the world.

The whiskey tells me it’s time to vomit.

And the bathroom sink tells me

that most of this will pass.

When I return, Billy is just a gawker,

staring at a woman like she’s a tourist attraction

or a new kind of car wreck.

Pumpkins will grow on the moon

before nature again moves his piece

to her part of the board.


Colin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. 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.” Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at