Ben Nardolilli makes his debut this week at cavalcadeofstars.
Rebuked and scolding,
He writhes to contort
To an evening in literature
So he might take generously
To his medicine bed,
And clamber to dreams in peace.
I left Saturday early,
And came to Sunday
Before the churches opened,
Here at the desk,
Holding back blood
And recycling tears
I heard the moaning
From the hallways
Followed by laughter
One human sound,
One pair of lungs
Tripping over the other,
I wondered if this
Is what they have heard
From me nights before?
But they have a duet,
Much more admired
Than my oeuvre.
Though I’m not sure why,
It takes work to be
An accomplished soloist.
Clues of Mount Zion
Once in a while
It is a good thing
My luck comes
An Average Indictment
A free event, so we went out
To listen to the authors
And all their mushy gravy
One extended family
Of hopefully starving artists,
We were poets, no plot,
A problem for the analysis,
We pitched sonnets instead,
But wore them out,
We said the work was long
Enough for a novellete.
What was our book about?
We looked about and tried
To distribute small kicks
To the eyes and ears
Of this suddenly captive,
Suddenly bemused audience
We gave a rendition despite
An inability for reduction,
Doctors and judges
Looked and listened, worse
They nodded and we knew
Our proposal was dead.
Not about to be silenced
By a going mere minute over,
We held our papers tight
As knives and threatened
Violence and book burnings
Demanding another sestina.
All body, all function, I become
Bundle of will and thought,
The song of Nature continues,
Soundtrack for searching for myself.
The realm is half gloom, initially,
Before the unknown and me,
A minuscule labor I detest,
I turn away from the myriad.
I have not yet crossed the known
Ways of dying, to reach the goal,
Falsehoods are perennially in bloom,
This is a way, but out of what?
My body is ignorant of the depths
I continue to speak under the moon,
Each hour I try to seize with deeds,
Not wanting the play to be done.
Remedy, Quackery, and Thrill
Overqualified and unbelievable
Life heroes keep showing up
And offering me their best septum,
I decline because no glasses
In my house are at least half-empty,
I have other vine juices
To contend with, my own solutions
To keep the viaducts inside
Healthy and porous, loyal to America
And productive for solutions
Fighting back our God-given malaise.
He rather enjoyed beginning
The mixing up of faces and names,
There was a new vocabulary
To learn and grammar to forget
In our very compact social scene.
After an hour of the changes,
He began twirling out of control
With bulging eyes and a throat
Choked up over syntax
And the new forms of obligations.
He always left after this for another
Gathering and collected data,
So that he might assign new roles
To everyone but not have to change
The character he adopted.
Not Even Wrong
How much time will pass before
These ladies might cling to the unhinged?
They have fallen with stable boyfriends,
But I can see the one future day
When they trade them all for an open sky.
In the mirror your arms will find a way
Over my shoulders and down
To the forests sprouting on my chest,
Both of us bad and beautiful,
Alive as we cycle in between the nights.
The impression of your back will not leave
An outline on the bed as past voices
Of those left behind crest in your mind,
Each of them will try to displace me,
But you will breathe out your old encounters.
Fine, we can call a truce then,
You will stop calling me,
Emailing me, telling me
I am unsatisfactory in every way,
There will be no more
Selling of wares to me,
I promise I will stop sending you
Poems and demanding
That you read them whole,
I will also stop claiming
You need any existential help,
The cognitive verse therapy
For wounds you cannot yet imagine.
The nudity of the neighbors fills out
Her latest works, in charcoal
The fleshy rear ends are still now
Set in place by her delicate hands,
An accidental immortality
It is a benefit of living together
In glass houses next to one another.
Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine,
Red Fez, One Ghana One Voice, Caper Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Grey Sparrow
Journal, Pear Noir, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, and Yes Poetry. His chapbook Common Symptoms of an
Enduring Chill Explained, has been published by Folded Word Press. He maintains a blog at
mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish his first novel. http://mirrorsponge.blogspot.com/