The Tower Journal

Colin Dodds

(Spill-O’s Sword)

Alone alone alone
The ceiling starts to groan

Broken windows and a book on Zen
This was the while before Spill-O
Could yearn again

Boredom or fear
Made him a half-absent person
With wires in his ears

A messenger bag,
A conversation that drags
His heart across the floor
And Oh! So much more!

It bumps and it scrapes
Peacocks and apes
Border the door
Of his latest escape

Poor poor poor
And getting mighty bored,
Spill-O grasps his sorrow
And it becomes a sword

(Spill-O’s Between-Lives Crisis)

The food turned to poison.
And Spill-O’s friends abandoned him
for diners and steakhouses.

Useless and listless among
marketplaces and gambling houses
that looked like they will in a thousand years.

Spill-O scorned
the beautiful faces shaped by desire,
communicating only desire.

He crawled along the shallow floors of streams.
Everyone said he could make money doing it.
But he crawled until every human voice was gone.

And in that silence, he saw something
better than us, better than himself, flood the hills
like a thousand dexterous runners ablaze.

But afterwards, the stairways, doorways
and faces of the hungry town
still framed Spill-O’s every thought.

(Moments Before Spill-O’s Sermon at the Buffet)

In the caramel core
Of his beer-battered
Deep fried heart

Spill-O knew then
That the saints had it right:
Starvation is a start

He stepped forward, onto
Twin Cheeseburger Plaza, swallowed
The bile in his mouth, and said…

Copyright © 2014 Colin Dodds

Colin DoddsColin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels,, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at

The Tower Journalbr> Fall/Winter 2014