Dear So And So,
A woman like a dying flower, too long in the vase, told me that our old friends, the Mermaids and the Sphinxes and the Satyrs and the Unicorns and the Griffins, had finally turned against us.
At the time, it was actually good news. For too long, the whole world felt like a woman who’s been pregnant for 87 years. Even subjectivity had gotten too subjective. And I was getting antsy just sitting here, waiting for the mail.
The transitions are full of rain. The future had been hiding in the empty churches and the empty train stations, the bakery woman’s wink and everyone’s retreat into privacy.
I spent half my life screwing crack whores and torturing strangers because I wouldn’t admit I had feelings.
But oh, what feelings I have now! I feel like a young boy who woke up early, before history made the air heavy.
I can still hear the music of the childhood I never had.
I am not out of it yet. My dream is a fever dream. I am very sick, and am never getting any better.
In Sickness And In Health,
My Wandering Waverer,
I have been thinking about your 100 questions a lot lately, especially: Does the apocalypse come through fervor or neglect? And: What is it like?
The apocalypse is like now, except you notice different parts. The plates at the banquet look no different than the doors of taxicabs on rusted racks in the scrapyard. A tide of consumption is coming in big to rearrange all of us into so much esophageal junk.
The wall has fallen, the seas roam the land and the dead roam the supermarkets. The only employer left in town is a whore on a pension. The town reels. The world is moored to nothing more than an informal understanding.
A nonexistent audience hisses at me on the street. Nothing swaddles but fragments and bad ends.
Animal sanity is all that holds the walls up once the foundations have caught fire and you know this life is a house aflame.
Everything is as leaky as the shroud of night. We will still be able to see, but never well.
I am afraid and aroused and have learned to like it here in the city.
High Regards and Low Hopes,
To Whom It Obviously Concerns,
I took your advice. But the nightmares persist worse in the buildings than under the poisonous skies. They are getting familiar, which I hate. In the electroshock abortion, the baby still comes out in pieces, hands first. And the farms are still full of disfigured animals with pained, supernatural intelligence. I may as well make the clinic and the farm my mailing addresses.
My Sullied Saint,
You say that at the brothels on the periphery, business is dreadfully slow. How can that be?
You say there’s not enough money around. But maybe, after the disaster, everyone’s gotten sick of sex. People have said it would happen for millennia, through times worse and better than this.
Maybe it’s time to put money on the self-flagellants. And if so, I think it’s time to start packing up the empire for good. The market won’t be a market much longer.
Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education at The New School in New York City. Norman Mailer wrote that Dodds’ novel The Last Bad Job showed “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ novels What Smiled at Him and Another Broken Wizard have been widely acclaimed by critics and readers alike. His screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Two books of Dodds’ poetry—The Last Man on the Moon and The Blue Blueprint—are available from Medium Rare Publishing. Dodds’ writing has also appeared in dozens of periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Folio, Block Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, The Main Street Rag, The Reno News & Review and Lungfull! Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.