The River We Lie About
The river down the street
is full of tires and sheet music.
The river’s old anthem rings
through the lamp shops and restaurant-supply stores
of the Bowery.
No one sings it. But everyone hears it.
It’s about a man doing a jig beneath a tidal wave.
But the time has changed,
the time is hot and pricey,
clean and complicated.
And the new world insists
on being born again and again
without passing through death.
The new world demands a new river
of novel, crowded light.
And we, its children learn every art
or degrade our flesh
just to inhabit its glow.
Because if you are not a virtuoso,
you must show the world
the contents of your stomach
to entertain it.
Colin 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 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 thecolindodds.com.