Colin Dodds




Call to a Fatal Ascension

Let the old shelves sag
Every wisdom obsolesces
No truth will save you from the truth

Messiah or miscarriage! Or both!
the headline demands
Blood and fire hold up the walls

Training wheels spin within training wheels
within training wheels

Outside, a little girl charges ahead and asks
Are we lost yet?

In all nature human and otherwise
nurture human and otherwise, a point nears
where comfort is the greatest danger

Go out and play tag with box trucks
Count coup with the monsters and more daringly
with the benefactors of the moment

Push up through the training wheels
effusing as petals from a burgeoning center

Rescue the fountain of metaphor
from its accumulation

Wave away the shade of God’s sheltering hand

Angels throw nickels at Icarus
Singing, honest for once, that survival
is the worst con of all
Hardly Worth Mentioning

In the last pew
in the darkness granted
by not putting a Euro in the slot
Forever insists

It dovetails a Trastevere pizzeria
and the raindamp piazza before the Pantheon
with the butchershops and mills
of my Worcester childhood
in a thrashing rumination that disregards centuries and seas
raises and razes men and cities
makes the statues cover their eyes

By the Fiumicino Airport
forgetting millennia of betrayals,
men tear down the idols agaom
And forgetting millennia of betrayals,
men erect the idols again

Here forever it seems
But here isn’t what it seems
Here changes, and changing,
changes forever

Flailing in this
world without end
—as someone snuck into the end of the prayer
like it was hardly worth mentioning
Of Faith and Severed Wires

But time
the way we enter it
is dangerous—our home
is a severed wire on a wet road
dancing, slinging sparks
with impossible hope
into every unlikely thing

Stars flicker for their while
above dubious us who briefly defy

And then what?
And then what and then what and then what?

the infinite infant intones

And more exacting more curious
than faith in any god
is God’s faith in us
which assembles the semblances and yokes
the aging of the sun to the meander
of our attention to render time
bearable and fruitful

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