(Spill-O’s Early Singing Career)

Because words exist for a reason
and we do not.
Because the wrong kind of silence
grows like a beard on a corpse.

Because boredom is the hand
so heavy on the land.
Because humanity grows tired of just copulating,
and demands a fuller account.

Because gambling is too mystical
for what he had in mind, and drinking too imprecise.
But the casino and the bar
were the only places open.

Feeling like a suicide reincarnate,
Spill-O watched Mars from the payphone
and waited for the whispers to gather.
Those insights with the rank whiff
of real mental illness about them.

The whispers were the only reliable voices
in this storm of the century
and this century of the storm.

The bookshelves warned him:Everyone’s rewriting the bible.
But there’s no one left to read it.

His friend admitted:
I’m a 35-year-old hologram
projected by your father and the C.I.A.

A passing lawyer intoned into his cell phone:
Okay, just three questions before we sign.
A. Why does the devil rely on trickery?
B. Why does creation require a trickster?
C. Do we use the devil or does the devil use us?

The aisles of the pharmacy whispered
all the things that will go wrong,
while the intercom rasped a song.

Why would you even want to achieve enlightenment?
Said the asshole to the teacher.
Said the teacher back to the asshole.

And a voice too grand or too fictional to be doubted
promised strange riches, inspirations, transformations,
told Spill-O he was lucky to be so sick.

And his brutal confusion again glimmered
as the strange sense of purpose it is.
He began to formulate a solution,
or at least a fresh problem.

Frightened and discouraged,
but tied to his noble work with a dirty string,
Spill-O began singing,
because you can’t stab a song.

About the Author: 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 a number of periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Folio, Explosion-Proof, 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.