The last girl in the last bar told me I would one day conquer time.
But I lost all pretense of enlightenment the next day, in the red room of the university club, arguing with a stranger about what to do with what’s left of China’s money.
I get it all down here, the many lies making eyes at the truth, all the anger of a wasted life concentrated into a story about a retail store.
I wanted more than I have had. That’s why I killed your family. I should have waited, I guess. I was going to kill you. But you talked me out of it. You said you had a bad childhood.
I liked your last letter, especially the part about the vacation camp. Of course, I want to feel compassion for everyone on the long bus ride too. But I’d get far too bored. I have my survival to think of over here.
Doing All I Can,
There are other ways to survive. There are lions, eagles, gophers, lambs, rams and bears. You can put that with the other reassurances of the dead faiths.
Yours Live From The Death Of The Death Death Death,
Listen For A Second,
The survivors are tight-lipped or just stupid. I can’t tell which, and it doesn’t matter.
But the streets tell the story just fine: Everyone saved themselves. The wrongdoers came from those most left in the lurch. The abandoned promises still stand like quiet, dark buildings in the minds of the wounded.
Our hopes and our selves were too shabby to get much out of the Revelation. The train station and the airport were the only holy oaks we could still communicate with, when it all went out of business.
And word of your visions—the suicidal pharaoh, the wandering waitress, the children in the church with gold bracelets—they reach me faster than the mail.
But ask the psychic cows, the prophets in the slaughterhouse, waiting in line, how that gambit plays out.
I said goodnight, said I’d call tomorrow, so you wouldn’t hang yourself from the ceiling fan.
But another person, is that your solution? Now’s hardly the time to go falling in love. It’s like splitting a pair of fours at the blackjack table.
There are many beautiful women, and I mean many, in this city. But please remember to mix your desire with pity.
I look out my window. I see a woman headed to the clinic, a boy cursing down the road. There are days and blood to spill between me and the heart of the matter.
But here’s what I’ve found: A bit of fun is put to the ultimate test. It fails. And when it does, it reflects badly on all involved.
Heaven’s a Bitch,
My Gentle Judas,
It was an ordinary week. But you said it shouldn’t go unrecorded.
After the plague of ladybugs and ceaseless night, I rode my bike out in the empty streets,
to loot the schools. I rode through the barricades, into the suburbs.
Everyone there wrote their names on their empty houses. And everyone’s name was the same. It was NO.
It will all dissolve into pure spirit in a thousand years, leaving only the fossil of a nightmare behind.
Because This Shit Won’t Explode,
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.