Adelaide Literary Magazine




LITERARY CONTESTS FICTION NONFICTION POETRY HAPPENINGS BOOK REVIEWS INTERVIEWS NEW TITLES ART & PHOTOGRAPHY

ADELAIDE Independent Bimonthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Bimensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 




 

 



 

 

 

 

 

WHEN YOU WERE BORN
By Colin Dodds

 

 

 

 

 

Cardiopolis

 

Floating through the world
dispensing permission
unknowingly

Cranes raise houses, office boxes
bivouacs for a war not yet agreed upon

Buildings like the stock exchange
blossom in the snow

At midday in midtown
towers pose for their ruin

The city from any distance at all—
its surges, precipices, idiosyncratic ridges
repetitions and anomalies

like an EKG in three dimensions
like the shape of a life

The more you look at it
the harder it becomes to even ask
which parts matter


 

 

 

 

When You Were Born
for Miriam Bridget Dodds

 

Warm weeks,
fat men with chests out
bob down the street like sails full of wind

Digitized fetal heartbeats
mingle with cicada-chitter
and dry leaves across concrete

My landlady peeks from her door
to see the blood moon in eclipse
Inside, my wife struggles near the end
of her nine months

Busy, tired, travelling, poor—distance
is the rain, the surface of the contract I sign,
crossing my fingers like that means anything

Nature steps from her accustomed highwaysides
window boxes and green-scummed piers
in civilized September
her voice rattling my pores
-
Marking time in fluids, there were clear warnings
day-long classes and dreams

Passing a night in a B-52 bomber
the whole horizon erupts, and the pilot says
“They’re making room for a baby”

The temple crumbles as the infant escapes
past the distorted corpses of her co-adventurers
through cobwebs and familiar perils
with a golden artifact of untold value
somewhere on her person
-
It arrives unsurprising as autumn
in the soupy air of an Indian summer
right about when we stopped calling it that

It sends me spinning, rushing
baffled among car-service dispatchers
in the last September we had such men
-
A lot at once
A greeting card and trench warfare
and it’s all one thing

Terror and love mingle, fuse
in the bloodgleam
congealed into hair, shaven for surgery
but just a patch, then skin open and closed all at once
eyes shaped by ten thousand generations
of looking away and looking again

No more delay no distance or affectation
I catch sight of my own face, the one 
that doesn’t care about the music or food I eat
what I think of the state of civilization
and whether I’m ecstatic
or in endless, ash-black agony

That’s the one who shakes her head
at the wondrous dreams of meaning dreamt
not disappointed but amazed at the dreaming

That’s the one who continues after I disappear
-
The great chain of weeping catches
and draws the scenery along

The first few weeks, her tiny hands attack her
through an unknown territory to sleep
the blue vein of dreams visible under her cirrus hair

Awash in mercy and emergency
the minds of mother and father attack them regularly
murmuring urgent assurances

It is easier to soothe
an infant than our own minds

And one afternoon, pondering an invitation,
we speak of our newborn daughter’s wedding
and weep because having thought of it, it’s occurred
and our lives already come and gone

Somewhere, an archaeologist packs mud
on our last standing complaint
-
For my tiny daughter, hunger
and lamp fascination are undivided
within a single unbounded question
and a single unbounded knowing

Together, we listen to the shortwave static
of the November radiator
and I hum the things I don’t want to explain
that she blessedly couldn’t understand if I tried

Tiny bright eyes relay all the majestic world
back to an administrative office in heaven
across distances spanned in a stanza
or never spanned at all

She turns bagels into giggles
and squawks like a happy parrot
toothless mouth full of light

Doing nothing much, she informs me:
We are not here for anything
We are here, and everything is for that

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

colin dodds

Colin Dodds is a writer from Massachusetts. His novels include WATERSHED and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer praised as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His work, appearing in more than three hundred publications, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. The poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver JewsActual Air) said of Dodds’ poetry: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” His book-length poem That Happy Captive was named a finalist in both the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award and the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award, and his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com.

 




 




 

 

 

     
CONTENTS

HOME

CONTRIBUTORS CURRENT ISSUE STORE FICTION HAPPENINGS NEW TITLES CLASSIFIED ADS
ABOUT US

FRIENDS & PATRONS BACK ISSUES CONTACT US NONFICTION BOOK REVIEWS ART & PHOTOGRAPHY FACEBOOK
MASTHEAD

DONATE SUBMISSIONS BOOK CHAT LIVE POETRY INTERVIEWS BOOK MARKETING TWITTER

Copyright © 2015 Istina Group DBA Independent Publishers, New York            Webdesign: svnwebdesign