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Janus Daycare

Janus Daycare
by Colin Dodds

How it happens
is you follow the glow
and the smell of gasoline and leather.

There is speed that way
and solid, definite scenarios.
You sit at the bar, in the red light,
and with the grunt of the ages,
you take up all the problems
you imagine you’ve been promised.

It has momentum.
It is effort and sleep rolled into one.
It is a choice so easy,
it seems like no choice at all.


In the middle of the busy day, a door opens
and you go through to a new life.
Once there, you want nothing more than to return.
But the door is gone.

The last thing you saw was a woman.
She’s your best clue,
about how to get back.
Or maybe a man is the last thing you remember.

Maybe he’s the clue to your desperate search.
Either way, there’s man and a woman—
one is the door and one guards the door.
You hit the pavement, start knocking on doors.

* * *

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred fifty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Dodds 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

What inspires you to write and keep writing?

I'd say it's a vocation, and it has been a long time since there was a question of  stopping.