Colin Dodds

(Go West, Spill-O)

Spill-O shamed centuries
of American romanticism when he slept
the whole way from JFK to LAX.

He barely caught the cloudy opening strains
of Queens and Brooklyn before he saw the
we’ll-be-landing-in-20-minutes mountains of California.

On the freeways, Spill-O’s eyes invent mountains,
play tricks with the bright smog,
maybe because he drank too much last night, the night before,
and maybe, the night before that.

The sign said the freeway was ending, but it never did.
He drove forever among the sprinklered palms.
Without checking the rearview, he knew
something was following him.

Maybe it was just the jetlag.
Maybe it was just the hangover.
Maybe it was just 10,000 years of the failure of love.

(Spill-O Undercover)

Spill-O overheard the grand design back in April,
when he was undercover,
posing as a ceramic hobo clown.

His styrofoam cup was a bottle opener,
his belly was a lamp and his face was a knife.

Spill-O would sleep and sing songs
when you rubbed his crotch.
He was only $14.95 and shipping was included.

Matthew Kirshman

Folk Legend

I photographed them get into the car. Have you read my “Manhunt of the Year” (Life May, 1977)? How about that close-call with the law, which might have ended it all? Their escape was a travesty, bought by suitcases of cash from the Narcotics Agency. How ironic, the shootout took place at the Ford Pharmacy. They entered Cincinnati on page 96. With a trunk full of gelatinous explosive, they headed to the Flamingo Motel. From there they followed a well-established strategy. Do you think they looked like newlyweds? I find it difficult to credit. I tailed the Jaguar to Chicago, where a cult following had sprung up overnight. To the journalistic eye, their pop-appeal was transparent: the lore of outlaw lovers, with sirens closing in.

Jeffrey Park


and polychromatic
she appears
where you least
expect –
on a bridge
or in the metallic
water of
an alpine lake –
you see her gliding
over the dry
sands of the deep
wonder if she’s
an optical illusion
or just
a mirage.