Saturday, November 24, 2018

Eight Poems By Ben Nardolilli

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at and is looking to publish a novel. 

At the Hub of Things

This quiz is losing me. Look, I’m not Golda Meir. Another quiz 
guesses I’m a woman, but anonymous: 29 years old with three kids.
It says I’m in a relationship. It says I love Game of Thrones and hot dogs.
The answers may be off, but it’s better than what I got from the FBI.

Other tests say I’m a Pocahontas and you’re a Sleeping Beauty. 
Did you make a quiz? That’s great, I’ll take it, if you take mine, and down 
the endless clickbait hole we’ll go. Who knows if we’ll finally end up
with anything approaching a spookily accurate answer?

Massive Retaliation

With this pill, I feel
purple, royal,
and bruised

I have a cape, no
a costume, no
a spaceship

And this may or may
not be my face,
only a screen.

Perdition 1967 to Today

It was an evil place, that bar,
and I told you, it was an evil place,
the low hanging lights
and those glossy pictures on the wall,
black and white
like the surface of a greasy moon,
I think the owners were going
for an effect they did not understand,
namely a whorehouse
in 1960s New Orleans, potted plants
dying in every corner

I should’ve mentioned Easy Rider,
a movie we’ve all seen,
to get you to get the overall reference,
so you would understand
my trembling under the mirrors,
instead, I was allusive and aloof
and let you command me to go explore
what was down below
in the perfidious basement
we saw swallowing up colorful ladies
one by one in this time traveling ark

How David Beats

When fighting the federal government
Our book’s latest edition can tell you
What not to do on the battlefield

Other guides may advise how to game
The court system against the state,
But we assume you have tried that

We do not care what you dispute
With any government, central or local,
Left or right, our book works for you

From our course of events, a free tip, 
If you are going to revolt and try to leave,
Get your cannon factories in order first

Yesterday’s Synchronicity

Read an article about redlining,
then listened to an album
with the title “Redline,”
after work, I traveled to Metro Center,
where I walked over
the Red Line trains to get out,
and once there, I went to Chinatown,
passing by a bar called Redline.

I’d like to start thinking and believing
this all means something,
in these words is a hint
of what I need to be doing,
maybe I’m supposed to stand up,
maybe I’m supposed to fight,
maybe I’m supposed to travel
but I still stay underground,
maybe I’m just supposed to drink

A Votive is Prepared

I would introduce myself if it were not useless. 
America and I are a hurricane, the name I had last night 
will not be the same as my name tonight,
it’s how you escape the military machine, it needs
names to fit men into ladders of fear, it’s never unsexual

In my eyes there’s a huge, free-floating anxiety,
dreams of destroying time before it kills me,
how else to order the chaos? I’m hostile to men, to women,
to cats and to poor cockroaches. I'm afraid of horses,
and afraid that only murder offers any promise of relief

The Nature of an Eye

Sorta stuck and thirty, not sure what I could improve on,
could sorta use a good roasting, friends,
I’m trying to grasp how to work with digital media,
this is just a sketch, but I want to create a finished piece

What can I change to make this creature more unique?
I feel it is lacking in detail and personality,
looking for someone experience to point out my mistakes,
any criticism is accepted, I’d like outside opinions

Took a long hiatus, nine years studying fleeting ideas,
trying to connect with people under wet linens and things,
then playing around with color, shape, and form,
the theme so far has been “biting off more than I can chew”

Unresolved Chains

Open up your textbook to me, I need to fish
for unresolved sexual imagery, 
otherwise, I’m feeling vulnerable as hell:
down for a reboot in this booth,
easily copied and exposed to criticism,
will you rewire and rewrite me tonight?

Only you know where you have been to,
but that question is a false lead
and the answer will only fail to recapture
what might have been in this rambling maze,
where complications grow and proclaim
duties for so-called aristocrats to seize.

You know we’re not part of their constitution,
we’re just here for the columns,
plus the caviar and lox that swims our way,
but we’re not meant to joins hands
with the hands that serve and platter us,
our problem? We still have something to lose.

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