Exiled for uncleanness,
prophesying in a group, by the bad bend in the river,
cooking cheeseburgers over a dung fire, ragged and wild-eyed
sneaking up on you in shopping centers, saying
“I will tell you the truth,
only because you don’t know my name.”
One sat by banks of the Intra-Coastal Waterway
in hamburger wrappers and ashes,
his whiteness or blackness made gray
and preached to the parade of the yachts,
of the peculiar barbarism of the haves and the have-nots.
No one has time for prophets anymore.
They make poor salesmen and worse customers.
And customerhood is the last duty we dare not profane.
Fresh from a revelation or a breakdown
among the coffee grounds, takeout containers and unopened bills,
they speak now because being reasonable has failed them,
because the reigning values have devalued them.
They are not complaining, but trying to shame the shameless,
who have improperly mixed love and expediency,
who have chosen to market to children, rather than raise them.
But the men in the yachts know what the prophets do not:
In time, simple survival will water down every revelation.
And survival is more than it appears.
Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education at The New School in New York City. Norman Mailer wrote that Dodds’ novel The Last Bad Job showed “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ novels What Smiled at Him and Another Broken Wizard have been widely acclaimed by critics and readers alike. His screenplay, Refreshment – A Tragedy, was named a semi-finalist in 2010 American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest. Two books of Dodds’ poetry—The Last Man on the Moon and The Blue Blueprint—are available from Medium Rare Publishing. Dodds’ writing has also appeared in a number of periodicals, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Folio, Explosion-Proof, Block Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, Main Street Rag, Reno News & Review and LUNGFULL! Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha.