Two Poems by Colin Dodds

Outside Colorado Springs

the Pancake Houses and weekly-rate motels
glowed like heaven built by unqualified creatures
who’d underbid the job

Old America, before the frontier congealed
and the pretend-wealthy won the war for our imaginations,
still wakes itchy in those motels, scrounges
for pocket-change under its coffee saucers

The motels invoke the Bedouins, Apache,
aliens, pirates, gods and cavemen,
cry out to the holiest and farthest reaches of the mind

Beside the liquor stores and car washes,
their neon buzzes and pulses something
too disreputable to be a vision,
and too strong to be a hallucination

On the Interstate, new America flaunted
and welcomed us back to its decade-old antiquity,
and second-hand devotions Customers Only,
reads the constitution of that America

By the airport, past fields vast and unwanted,
lost on roads more sky than macadam,
we surrendered at the rental car return.

Crested Butte, Colorado

On the long drive, nature becomes
a canyon, then a buffalo then a log fence
then a motel then an RV.

The itinerant waitresses of Colorado told tales
of their migrations from sea to valley to mountain
tracking tip money and other gratuities.

An old truck climbed the mountains of slush
with a hoary beard of snow chains
hanging from its craw.

Dust dragged its skirt across the road
Snow wheeled across the highway
Steam drifted across the sun-lit cutback.

The rushing whisps remind me of a friend, now gone
from the strenuous, complex upkeep of his human self,
gone reeling, skipping, insubstantial.

A mist swirls by the skeleton of a mining enterprise
oblivious to the oblivious works of man —
close to the earth, moving without haste or pause.

About the author

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife. Dodds’ poetry and fiction can be found here…

Read the full bio

Issue 16 · October 2012

Table of contents