Poems by Ben Nardolilli

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THE TRANSLATOR

You once contributed to a study. You said
what you took seemed superior to what you left behind.

You got the letter but never joined the team.
You put on a different costume, but you’re always a shaman.

You said you would storm the studio
and seize the local reality from the projectors.

You became a translator instead, to suit your own needs
you got lines that were halfway right.

Your translations affect your measure,
you couldn’t possibly say what creed you believe in.

You fill in the gaps with the closest idiom,
you think the important thing is to get the poem over with.

Your actual experience is a complete flux.
You have a few lines that shine to explain your travel.

You could have something else, but don’t.
Because you’ve written very little criticism, haven’t you?

IN THE BELIEVERS’ EYES

We will be teaming, if we have anything
to do with the shape and angle of the afternoon,
for hours ideas will crawl over us, along with
sensations, dreams, and if we are desperate,
recollections of unlived lives and worlds past.

We will carry generous multitudes with us,
making a home for pulsating vibrations,
not just the normal waves of heart and nerves
but the tremors of expectation that delights,
once shut off by others, are now open.

The world has been mapped and explored,
subjects and whole peoples broken for study
until they are dissolved into a classified static,
lucky for us, the experts have no name
for the spring turning inside us under our skin.

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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, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at: mirrorsponge.blogspot.com

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