Poetry by Colin Dodds

The Angel of Death in the Bar

The angel of death is a weak little man
who sits in a bar, finishing other people’s sentences
and other people’s drinks
and never looking you in the eye.

He says that what you can’t admit when you’re sober
is that you hate the world
because the world was drunk before you arrived.

The whole scene is as unlikely
as the first song or the last song.
The jukebox kicks in and a saintly Johnny Cash
plays all the rooms in hell tonight.

The people who can imagine nothing
but Saturday night and their need of it
are better than them who think
they can make up their own names,
the angel says.

The lights come on and the music changes.
Last call wakes us from a strange dream
of sex and violence.

I lose the angel of death
in the lights, in the sound of a hundred hands
reaching into pockets.

I hear the word and know it’s time.
They only call me sir
when they ask me to leave.


About Colin Dodds

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than 150 publications and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Dodds is also 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.” And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com.