Three Poems by Ben Nardolilli

The Nightmare Network

I went through several forests full of metaphors
Before I got anywhere close to the city,
There were the trees clustered together in vines,
Woods resembling the nervous impulses of the brain,
And a forest dead in the center but alive at the outskirts

I reached the river and other bodies of water,
Occasionally I reached bodies sitting by that water,
We never talked or looked at one another,
But I felt a kind of unity since we were both counting
The contours of the waves spackled with sunlight

I only became a minor celebrity in the city,
People talked about me and children
Were told to stay away from the potential dark cloud
Of hidden disasters that my presence represented,
My black cape and top hat finally a good investment

Hudson Valley News

Sunday’s pastime: Hudson Valley wanderings
Under a nebulous cliffhanger fog,
Empty town and city and country pass by
Along with solitary mountains
Which break from the horizon
To peak without any friendly range nearby

Even the train is having trouble keeping track,
The cars swing and screech over each bank,
Outside, a river thankfully knows
Its course and stays in the vessel
It carved out for itself over centuries
While making the commute south to Manhattan

Looking Critically

Empty city streets, so what?
The colors are out
And I can enjoy them, from red to white

If the streets overwhelm
With their procession of cars and banners
I have the sidewalk to clean my eyes

So then I can look up again
At every light post and power line,
The auburn wood a leash for glowing pets


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.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

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