Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

(Spill-O’s Horror Film)
Colin Dodds

It was a time of true blackout,
when love had departed the city.
The train rolled out on its meat-cutting wheels,
the shadows grew spines,
the sun drooled spit and blood on our heads,
the shrubs colluded sexually,
and sounds came up from the toilet.

A child led Spill-O back
to when a tree held peril and bottomless fear.
Passing through parking-lot darkness, by-the-dumpster darkness,
a Cadillac rolled past
without a driver or passenger, its top down.

“You are about to see where the nightmares come from,”
his father said, flinching and weeping,
fat and old among the sheets, blankets and comforters.
There was no sanctuary, even in the suburban promise
of safety wherever one front yard faces another.

The night was rough, long as a lifetime
Spill-O stopped caring whether or not the world was good
—only that it was good to him. He bought a gun.
He opened the door to the hell
for those who conduct their investigations
under flawed auspices.


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.