Spill-O, After the Picadors

By Colin Dodds

The mirror shows Spill-O bloated and cross-eyed,

all his bluster revealed to be little else

Filled with a rock-solid down-and-out feeling,

familiar from the Fall to this fall, with the leaves

browning at the edges in the bright humidity

Every straw is the last straw, which breaks

the camel’s back, and every camel

a horse built by a committee, into whose gifted mouth

you should nevertheless not look

Morning arrives late and the sunlight seems a day old

The sky seems to scowl, like God would murder all of us,

but He’s been too depressed

Spill-O digs into the shadows of the margin for error

and orders food he can’t properly afford

The mirror shows a doddering image—

a bull after the picadors

have finished their wearying work


Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred and seventy publications and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He 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