The Advantage Outside

A poem by Ben Nardolilli


I look down from the break room
at the rose colored plaza
where people wait to wait for a trial,
the advantage outside: they wait
on their own terms with devices
in their hands and the breeze in their hair

I look for signs of spring
and only see flowers on a toddler’s pants,
she is tethered to an adult male
who is nervously smoking a cigarette
I notice him touching his wrists
Perhaps in anticipation of handcuffs

The toddler screams and runs after birds
who fly away at her voice,
her toes never get close to the wings
because her father gives the tiny dynamo
a foot and a half of freedom
before yanking the bible-black strap.


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 via Blogger, at Lo Specchio e La Spugna, and is looking to publish a novel.

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The Next Song

A poem by Ben Nardolilli


Weary blues, but really
What other kind could there be?
Happy blues seems an insult
To the whole tradition,
And jaunty blues is just wrong

Anyways, I got the weary blues
And the weary blues got me,
Better than being alone, I guess,
Imagine being so sad
Even the weary blues stays away

I need to discharge it, loose it,
Keep it from following me,
I appreciate the company,
But the weary blues is too heavy,
Besides, I can hardly sing


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 via Blogger, at Lo Specchio e La Spugna, and is looking to publish a novel.