The poems of Dallas Spires are the tiniest bit softer than that which they describe; terrifying cruelties inflicted on dangerous and damaged people, whether in the emotional or physical realm. These poems are often graphically violent, yet just as often carefully quiet, exploring the subtle and not-so-subtle shades of human cruelty and the pain that it causes and causes it.
Dallas says, "My hometown is one of those places where the stories tell themselves to you. You have to have open ears and open eyes. People who have spent any time in my hometown say that it feels small. It operates like a small town, though it's steadily growing in its own backwards small-town way. It sprawls like a cancer across Middle Georgia, growing out, spreading, consuming as much land as it can. I've been away for a few years, and I'm told that there has been some effort to bring life back into the downtown area of the city, but when I was living there, downtown was little more than a corpse. There were a few bars and small restaurants, cafes, banks, too many hair salons and crack-pot insurance and law firms, but there were more empty store fronts and vacant buildings than anything else. The only real life came from the bars, restaurants, and cafes. The life came out of the night. The night came out of the buildings when the sun went down, out of the shadows of the abandoned spaces it took for its own and shared with the homeless. It crawled out of the river, bringing all the river's stories with it.
"And the people that came out of that darkness were strange indeed. I spent my nights in coffee shops, meeting the strangest people--the strangest stories, really--I could ever imagine. Everyone had some obsession. Everyone had some element of decadent self-destruction they made beautiful. And some, as easily as they walked out of the darkness, disappeared back into it from time to time. Some are still lost to it. Some will definitely never come back out. Everyone who walks away from that place carries some of the darkness with them. It haunts everything I do. And so do the people who came out of it.
"That is why I write. It all started in a darkened, decaying town full of self-destructive obsessions. Its stories whisper between old men, between the limbs of trees given voices by the wind, in the sweat that seems to come from everything during the hot summers, in the darkened windows of old houses. Each leaf that falls in autumn is one story that could be told. That's what makes the town small. And that is probably what creates its strange characters." Drop him a line at email@example.com.
Dallas's works here at Unlikely Stories are:
Where All This Started
Who Didn't Know That It Could Go This Far?
My New Life
September to January