Ben Nardolilli is a twenty five year old writer currently living in Montclair, New Jersey. His work has appeared in the Houston Literary Review, Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, One Ghana One Voice, Caper Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, Poems Niederngasse, Gold Dust, Scythe, Anemone Sidecar, The Delmarva Review, Contemporary American Voices, the Eudaimonia Poetry Review, Gloom Cupboard, Shakespeare’s Monkey Revue, Black Words on White Paper, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. In addition he maintains a blog at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish my first novel.
Better Than Anything
Finally, we settled our wishing
Well of glasses joined
On health, there was agreement,
Except for the dualist
In the corner, who smoked himself
Into thoughts, we
Beat on upon that haze,
(I think he did not want the temptation
Of skin and bones alone
Making a good enough home)
And though some of us turned
(As I did)
Away from talk of wealth,
We all could not reject
A body sturdy as bronze,
With no hollow ring to it.
Associative Narratives and Tunes
We entered a line for line,
Fluent in the best known,
Eyes in interest
Over exquisite archaic costumes
Tricky to explore,
We found each other
By an ordinary tree,
Cleft from this point:
Pygmalion, Demeter, Eurydice,
We continued monologues
And dreamy reliance
On our cadences
One day, young poet,
Words will not be enough,
You must throw away
Thy pen and walk.
I got colors,
But no visions,
Cannot verify change,
Tear stained pages,
Ink stained pillows,
You’ve got things wrong,
You fill a shelf with books
But not with pictures.
You ask me to forget,
But I never said you had to remember.
I’ve kept the old testaments alive
With a sea of allusions
If you must use your evening
For the day's lament,
Leave the night free
To focus on your intent.
I’m turning off the computer
And getting to bed,
To cover myself with night
And let the laptop have its dreams.
Handling the Future
Some people greet the future in funny voices,
They bend down and make faces,
Hoping the future will remember them
With a memory that puts a warm frame
Around the face they make red for the forthcoming.
And others play hide and seek, a few
Who want the future to grow up quickly,
Set up checkered boards and fight
Callous battles where armies of ivory and ebony
Perish to their delight, and they let the future cheat.
The strict people tell the future to keep quiet,
Tell the future to stay still, hand it pills
They play old songs for the future to learn,
They knit it fine clothes to keep it covered.
And some are very good, always cleaning up
After the yet-to-come, they do it
With a smile and hands that grow coarse,
They live on a daydream that wafts
Through their labor, the closest to intoxication
They know, one day they hope the future
Will feel guilty and look after them.
Police are always on the lookout for those
Who never care about the future,
They watch television all day, make no meals,
Patch up no leaky roofs, they are terrible
With love and affection, and the future
Often sees them with spots on their arm,
Or an empty glass vial in hand.
Personals Ad #47
There is no law against Jonathan,
Because he makes his laws,
Each night he comes down a mountain
And takes two tablets in the morning,
His sins, his crimes, all pass
Through the beaded curtains of dreams,
Remorse turns to reason,
And then he is fine again, free
To live as dictator of his dictates,
But his body o’ flaws ends at his body,
Jonathan is an auto-jurisdiction,
His constitution is strong,
He knows it well, walks on footnotes,
He is leviathan of his commonwealth,
All Jonathans are equal before his law,
He tips the scales and makes them even,
It’s a small kingdom
(It grows from time to time)
But admire him,
He is sovereign somewhere.
Proud to Say
Superficially, there have to be the scrapes,
The abrasions, injuries to spiritual knees,
A job, position, or role leaving me,
One potential after another going to another,
A small desire ripped apart from the skin
And leaving behind only a red mark,
So many small reminders of old attachments,
I am proud to say these disappointments
Left only polka dots on my handkerchief.
You have not suffered,
You have not apologized,
You have not come to regret
All that you broke away
Without giving me the chance
To go out and respond.
I do not forgive you, because
You do not need the release,
You look happy enough
In the life you are leading
Every day farther away,
You have no need for me at all.
I only want to do what you
Have already done,
To forget about you and go on,
Able to make a distance
That I can spread out over
And call an accomplishment.