the poetry that matters

Benjamin Nardolilli

Benjamin Nardolilli is a twenty two year old writer currently living in New York City. His work has appeared in Houston Literary Review, Perigee Magazine, Canopic Jar, and Lachryma: Modern Songs of Lament, Baker’s Dozen, Thieves Jargon, Farmhouse Magazine, Poems Niederngasse, The Delmarva Review, Clockwork Cat, Sheroes Rag, Literary Fever, and Perspectives Magazine. In addition he was the poetry editor for West 10th Magazine at NYU and maintains a blog at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com

On Eating a Popsicle

In the beginning there was
A red bullet,
A mass of lipstick,
A phallus, engorged with icy veins,
A pope, riding on a broom stick,
Looking at me.
After the first bite, the cherry shell
Was ripped away and a blue puddle,
Frozen on the top, appeared with crystals
Laying around its dark center, a solar anus
In the middle of my treat.
I bit down until the edges became
Square and the blue screen came on,
The ice fuzzing over in static shards.
So I changed the channel,
With my teeth, until
A wooden tongue came poking out at me,
Stained blue, like my own
As if it had been eating a popsicle
Out of my throat.
In the final bite, all that was left,
Was a road coming out from the sky,
And this scene I made vanish too.

An Alphabet of Movements

A man steps across a puddle, his legs spread wide and his feet touching
islands of dry land.

One figure on a couch, stuffing a mouth with one fried food after
another, looking like a chipmunk getting ready for winter, a bulge above
the jaws and above the waist.

A dizzy bum finds a home on a sidewalk that imitates the womb.

In the corner he builds his muscles, lifting a pole with weights on it,
one day he will be Atlas.

Swollen lymph nodes are noticed now a mouth is open and a tongue is out.

Luckily he had found a urinal, he is tired and the wall takes care of
everything, his manhood knows what to do.

Did she kill the fly in the room? Only the smear on her hands will tell.

A deal has been reached.

She stands in front of a window, others look out, she sees no nature,
there are whispers behind the wall and fingers pointing.

He reaches down the drain, he never should have put his ring next to the
soap, but the medal felt cold against his foreskin.

The waiter hurries with his solar system of dishes that orbit on the
balance of his hand, he must make sure things are not cold, yet not too hot.

Down at the dock she looks at her reflection and does not like what she
sees, she blames the river for moving too fast.

Her hands reach around the hips, not sure who’s drawing whom in, she’s
never done this before.

He kicks the door in anger for shutting on him, though he knows she was
the one who closed it.

The sun is coming up and going down, the moon is making similar trails, while
An Army barber looks at a new recruit looking at himself in the mirror, and
A ping pong ball sits under a sofa in a basement, ready to be found, and
The fire has set off an alarm. It flashes and is beautiful when
I notice the disk has stopped playing, the music has ceased and
Round darkness collects inside the hat, while
One hostess notices an empty table for a customer, so that
A roll of tape sits, the adhesive stripped from it, and
The screech of a car in the alley brings one eye open for the bum, while
The earth sits in space and tries to look its age for distant galaxies.

The bum is straightened out on his side and is crying.

A young girl’s happiness floats away, no cone, no fluff, no marriage at
nineteen will bring it back.

In the lawn the gardener gardens, in the mountain the miner mines, in
the cemetery the digger digs.

A prisoner reaches the outside world through a serpentine phone line.

She cannot see yet still looks around, her contacts are somewhere on the
ground, the precious lenses are ready to be crushed.

A condom’s work is done, it will be buried at sea with no honors, but
recognition and pardon will come later when the currents stop.

Two eyes see a flower out in front of them, the image is flipped upside
down and will adjusted in a moment, but for now, they see the world
floating in the sky.

A corpse is dissected.

Legs spread open, the doctors and the nurses are ready to receive and
she is more than ready to give.

The bum has found the most comfortable position, kneeling on his side.


Contrary Motion

…Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral
of Achilles’ own wealth with a
gaudy party in the dream of Daisy,
through Gatsby’s extravagant lifestyle.
Tom grew increasingly suspicious
of his wife’s relationship with the mansion
Odysseus yielded information about
the dumping ground around a new Achilles’
arrival, a mysterious man named alcohol.
His son went to Mount Enormous,
ransomed the Achaeans, pushed the Achaeans back
forcing them to a pair of beautiful maidens.
Achilles rode on the East, back to the Midwest,
dreams of Daisy mourning:
the established undisguised passion
the Achaeans wife could be unfaithful,
to transform his Nick to that fight in the war.
Beautiful Hector’s corpse
moved home a mysterious man named Jay
in return for the sea-nymph Thetis
from Minnesota, the valley of ashes,
breaking her nose, bootlegging to the ground.
Myrtle invited Daisy to have a relationship with Gatsby
the counterattack soon faltered,
the gods, toward this end, moved,
too proud to help, Achilles agreed
to taunt Nick’s next-door neighbor for the god Apollo,
in return for the city’s periphery, three times,
out to battle coming from rage that a gigantic
Gothic mansion had killed Patroclus.
Chryseis and Briseis, Nick began a romantic heroism
to have established social connections,
cynical young women, beautiful maidens,
to New York City, the war offers destroyed
Diomedes and Odysseus because without
a gray industrial Zeus stranded, the angered
Trojan army glimpsed what makes a short time.
Old Ashes, came to their aid, and dragged it
across his neighbor Gatsby, then fatally shot Gatsby
in a suite battle at the head unlike the other Tom,
and Tom even fought Hector outside the walls.
An era of dreaming—both struck Myrtle, time
slayed him, fighting then them himself, Achilles
invoked a temporary truce for a woman with whom
Gatsby’s car had struck in West Egg into the memory of
Concerned comrades that Hector deserved at the end.
They have declared a bond business with Agamemnon,
erstwhile classmate of Hector, furious at this insult
Ajax consulted the prophet Calchas, inhabitant
of West Egg, Achilles later learned about the house
and slain him. Each day the Achaeans
celebrated Patroclus’s funeral, and Daisy
returned Hector’s corpse from the car.
Tom grew to love the Achaean forces,
and called everyone “old sport” he fought with
money and dishonesty, and then reconciliation,
Tom, leapt to the car, feeling the people
with his garish displays, demanding Briseis to battle,
allied with Troy finally, Achilles invoked
the memory of the American dream to hurt him
and the Plaza warrior claimed Briseis
Bringing countless ills upon the Achaeans…

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