Two Poems: “A Final Round” & “Slouching on a Siamese Pipe”

by Colin Dodds

A Final Round

I was led like Socrates to the slaughter.
And they cut my head off quick, without hacking.
They batted it idly against the courtyard wall awhile.

I think my parents set me up.
After the crowd left, they placed my head back onto my neck,
then walked off, burbling with smalltalk.

I stood up, gingerly. I wasn’t dead yet,
but couldn’t reason why. A little dizzy, a little bleary,
I went for a drink, to wait for death to catch on.

My executioners came in, talking cautiously.
And I stayed at the bar, rattled but amused.
Healing was out of the question.

Beyond eavesdropping at last,
I ordered another drink and reveled
in my peculiar, almost-dead blues.

Slouching on a Siamese Pipe

I’ve been waiting this way
As long as I could arrange—
Somewhere between a millionaire
And a man who needs to change.

Every bar is an island,
But not one where I can stay.
I make my home, I take my stand
Then daylight throws me away.

I throw myself away, claim it wasn’t my idea.
My self-breaking heart waits until the lights are out
Before uttering its one true plea.

The barstools, the women and the war
Come along for the ride.
Like the contents of a drawer
Yanked open too hard,
We slosh like a frustrated tide.

All the bars are the same.
Their residents meant me harm before I came.

The friendliest ones take the most,
Wielding new vices,
Sealing my fate with a toast.

At the end, slouching on a Siamese pipe,
The air dirty with desperate laughter
I look at my hands and wonder
If the moment was ever ripe,
If it was life that I was really after.

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 the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred forty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at

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