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 mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish a novel.
I can’t see any directions around me,
Not in the cars, the trucks,
Or the quick footsteps of the crowd
Pockmarks and cracks on the sidewalks
Break the flow, the people
Orbit around the soft edges of the curb
What resources are there to find
In between their steps?
Old cigarettes and open questions
I’m not helping, I’m standing still,
Letting dark columns
Of shadows roll over my body in waves
The Primitives of Potomac Overlook
A starry night wrecks itself,
Sky, why are you doing this to us?
Everything was a perfect assortment,
Colors, winds, and glares,
Moon was not whole but close enough
Then rain settings started,
And the snow settings followed,
Why the knob turn?
Why the release on me and everyone?
Tomorrow please bring the dry
Our sacrifice mode can be unlocked,
We can send you smoke
Heavy with the scent of finest meats,
Or can burn the vegetables if you want,
Anything for another starry night
A Productive Clearing
Goddess of Desolation, I want to row,
Go bring out a boat for me and set a sail,
I don’t care what the river is
Or if the river is really a sea,
If I stay here I’m just going to burn.
Give me a current to take me away
From this sour situation I’m mired in,
It doesn’t matter if the stream
Is heading up or downhill,
I have to leave this desert tonight.
If not, I’ll break bottles for mirrors,
And use the shards to signal the clouds,
With enough light and luck
An airship will see me
And recuse me from tomorrow’s tides.
Subsisting on a diet of inflammation,
Complete with the appearance of all major media
Bring on the upvotes and the downvotes too,
I want the flames of others roasting my words
Nothing makes me feel more alive than the thought
Of making someone else reply to me in all caps
Someone tells me to slow down or stop,
Someone tells me I need to reject every single update
And be left out of the information loop?
How will I know the details of today’s new screwing?
You know, the one I get, and if I am lucky,
My neighbor gets too, so we may be inflamed together.
Morning Walk Zazen
You never feel quite as thirsty
As when all the cups are gone,
When you traverse a house
Looking for something
To hold the water you crave,
And you are unable to bring
Yourself to use your dirty hands.
You will feel even thirstier
When you find the cups are sitting
In a sink with soap inside them,
Stewing in the suds to break
All the grime collected inside,
None of them ready for use
And your hands are still too dirty.
And you will never feel as thirsty,
Poor, and weak to the bone
When you realize after walking
Through the house and around
All of its basins and spigots,
You own no cup of your own
To use in an emergency like this.