The New Prayer


An American,

a woman dressed

for self expression,

rushes the line

and shouts


“Your holiness, your holiness,

I’ve made up a new prayer.”


Whether this is execrable

or this is good and important

depends entirely

on whether or not

the prayer works.


The Chicken-Egg Town Line


The downtown built on the railroad,

lies between the one built on the highway,

and the one on the river


The world was built upon a world

Indians atop dinosaurs atop boiling rock

atop the peripatetic habits of the excrement of a star


And I am one more thing the dirt has done,

among books and soda cans, squinting for a sliver of light

between the chicken and the egg


I try to tell the story

so that the beginning

is not obliterated by the middle


The Last Days of Comprehension


The custom of reality is too makeshift

to withstand very much, too entrenched to replace,

and too misbegotten to repair.


The sun is the color of the DON’T WALK sign.

The bridge loses its existence to its utility.


The sky is ultimately a metaphor.

Even the angels, especially the angels,

become obstacles.


This capital-letter Life

is like Chopin

played on a rape whistle.


And reality is like a line drawing of a man.

Remove one line, maybe two, and

there is no resemblance,

only a collection of scribbles.


by Colin Dodds


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.

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