Three Poems

by Ben Nardolilli

Collagraph Hill

A code is tabled up in the sky that we live out,

Bright suns of night mixed with the stretches

Of days which only shadows occupy,

Against the brick walls we rest or plot or scream

In accordance with the symbolism that drifts

Over the cracked horizon of our buildings’ decline.

Certain days we find full support and open streets,

With doors that are capable of moving aside

Through the expert notions of our knives,

Red reigns violently and we pay tribute with kicks

And slammed trashcans rolling in the alleys,

The moon then contributes its neon to our delinquency.

Sky, save us from the lull which brings stagnation,

Drags us coughing down the sidewalks

And across privately owned panels of hardwood,

Whatever is up there signaling, break the code

To keep the lights burning for each hour,

All the lightning you can manage for us, send it down.

Raku Rare

Trying to make something out of this moonlight,

Since the orb produces no music like a speaker,

I find blue seas, fallen skies, atmospheres

Down on their luck and pending for a renewal,

I notice a halo and see a face in between

The trees unable to show its features over branches.

All I can offer is a knot that bends into itself,

In love with its own dark complications,

A composition reaching out for illusions of space

But really just making more loops for itself

To keep whatever spirit it possesses

From leaking out through the grand gutter ahead.


Planes of movement are closed off bus routes

Are being carved out of the darkness,

The pearl in the sky gives off enough of a glare 

To show me where the sidewalks begin

And where there are spaces to walk with no cars

Trying to shake the asphalt under me into pieces.

Days of Morning


We lay our ribcages down side
By side and stare up at the ceiling,
Like ships docked in place,
We are ready to receive the cargo

Of a new day which cracks a dawn
Across the eggshell white
Maximum height of the shared room,
One day we may call this a cell

Look, but more importantly, listen,
I treat my time with you as a donation
Towards a more permanent union
And an American lung association.

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