Colin Dodds

Chartres

Inevitably encrusted
like any profound secret or prodigious truth
with bullshit,
it catacombed the bullshit
with greater truths and deeper secrets

At Chartres,
a donkey plays a harp, a demon taunts
the dead Christ, flowers burst
in melees of false symmetry, pigs climb the torsos of men
gazing up in despair, goblins swat
the prayers of the
dying, a bewildered angel on wings like crutches vomits up
a goddess, a scholar cuddles a demon to
hear it whisper

Saints
stand atop a man chained to a wheel, stand atop
the drowning
church, stand atop a squatting king

Cities
accrue where saint separates from saint, like the residue of tape
pulled from a wall, cities
jigsaw together where arched eternities gently
peak or simply
occur where the gazes of angels collide

Men
whose bald spots sprout fortress-castles like practice halos, men
not bland enough to pass for holy nor mercenary
enough to bury
completely, only one of them calm, and he stands
between heaven’s blaring horns and a massive finger extended
in accusation

To Get Fries with That

There are still altars, but they are small
There are still confessions, but they parrot
ad jingles and headline come-ons,
scabs borrowed for wounds they don’t quite fit

Ever-refreshed never-refreshing Brownian riot
of information blinds worse than seeing
through a glass darkly ever did

Escape is only visible through razor-rimmed portholes
of drug addiction, suicide or incredible wealth

Call it a circle jerk or call it a lightning farm
It’s a place where the only ways I’m not alone
are through the things I’m not proud to have done
to get fries with that

***

colin-doddsColin Dodds is an author, poet and screenwriter. His writing has appeared in more than 250 publications, been nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, and praised by luminaries including Norman Mailer and David Berman. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See his work at thecolindodds.com.

A Literary Magazine