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, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at and is trying to publish his novels.

Roommate’s Suggestions

She says I can have the lettuce and the spinach,
They’re in the fridge, all green, picked,
Ripened, and ready to be eaten,
She says it’s good for me, I’ll get the necessary
Vitamins, minerals, and roughage
All the “good stuff” that helps build a good person
Free of polysyllabic chemicals made by man
She tells me they will change my life, via
Changing my diet, which she assumes is rotten,
It is, but I’m not about to eat
Like a rodent and a thief for a week’s time
All to gain a little bit of extra folic acid, or iron,
Or whatever the nutrient de jour is,
I eat my feels full and balanced, and processed too
When she presses me, I respectfully corner her, 
Asking for the truth about these offerings,
She tells me the truth,
It’s not about my health or my well-being,
She just bought too much, that’s all, for a salad
And a stuffing she won’t ever make
For a date who canceled on her for a funeral’s sake.

Cambyses in Brooklyn

When I devote my complete energies to anything, I become a king,
this is what a full night’s sleep grants you,
shall I conquer Egypt? Send chariots across the floodplains
of Mesopotamia? tear down the dusty brick walls
surrounding many a Jericho or the harbors of Tyre?

Or perhaps I will set out into the evening to plunder
local stores of their hard seltzer,
get a quesadilla or two, and bring the proceeds back home,
for a feast of bubbles and grease in my throne room,
entertained by various animated figures moving across a screen

Formulae. not Thoughts and Ideas

Idea development killers, come to me,
There’s too many suggestions, hints, and nodes
Of things I could do,
Temptations to put my current work aside
And go off chasing another poem, another play,
Another novel that captures
What’s new in my life and the zeitgeist, updated
It doesn’t matter how the block happens,
As long as my old ideas remain,
Smother the new ones, scare them away with fire,
Then spread a circle of salt, or blood
To keep seeds of notions from germinating in me,
I’ve got enough outlines to follow for now,
All I need is the time to fill them


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