The Darkness Between the Stars, Colin Dodds

Craig Goodworth, VČELA, Blood & Honey (bronze casts), 2016


(Audio for this poem begins at 34 seconds in. You may move the cursor forward by dragging)


The Darkness Between the Stars


In a third or fourth language,
art-gazers mutter and barkers hawk
probably counterfeit tickets

In the galleries,
virtuosi golems and ghosts
declaim what’s hidden
to what’s hidden

But the short tour saves you time:
Beauty inspires and demoralizes
in equal measure: A solvent,
if it has any purpose: The instruction
is the armed men in the museum’s employ –
acknowledged only by how studiously
they’re ignored

Like the masterpieces,
they are amalgamations
of accident and sacrifice

Brazen Hercules, lightning dazed
and dug up again, gazes over
the tour gangs, his dirty irises and ours
just swirling commas, seeing
and, and, and, and

Tour guides dissemble, translations mislead –
The spell inscribed in the golem’s clay
is always misspelled


Colin Dodds


Review by Dan Overgaard

Flashing by quickly—Let’s move on to the next gallery—this little poem illuminates those repeated, crowded, museum moments of commerce and common mythology—Excuse me sir, no flash!—but ah, everything is observed by the golems and the ghosts. They are the true guards, taking no breaks, and will wait forever. That misspelling will be corrected.


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