Three Poems

Ben Nardolilli

The Law of the See

No laws of foreign jurisdiction apply
to this very personal cause of action or claim,
which is too bad, I was hoping
I might catch the attention of a country
or two, especially a nation
looking to flex new powers or restore them

Possibly mainland China, or France, two
of the candidates I had in mind
who would complain to the United States
about the treatment I have been receiving,
criminally ignored to the point
of violating international conventions

At this point even a complaint or protest
from Luxembourg would be nice,
so long as the ambassador files it,
maybe the Vatican can built a coalition
to press the UN for my liberation,
an intervention to save me from anonymity.


A Hecatomb in Your Honor

Zeus, get up, we’re having troubles
With the other Gods,
They want us to kill, maim, enslave, and grow beards,
Plus they have a thing against pork,
Have you heard of Yahweh and the Demiurge?
We’re stuck between them and an indifferent
Chap called the Absolute Spirit,
Zeus, get up, raise your head
From Ceres’ bosom and come back,
We’ve cleaned up the old temples and arranged
A hecatomb in your honor,
Just don’t turn yourself into an animal this time,
You may not be nailed to a cross
Like other demigods,
But you’ll be tied to a spit and roasted instead.


Mount Vernon Skyline

Strolling near the river and looking through the trees,
shades of green come through the shadows
all the way from the distant mud to me,
a rainbow of green slowly getting lighter until it reaches my feet,
where the grass bursts into flames of near-yellow

The branches make a frame like lead bars holding in pieces
of stained glass in a Gothic cathedral,
blue from the water mixes with the brown of the bank,
then the black of the sinister other side of the river,
of course streaks of green from the branches continue to pour in.

The piece leads me to regret, I wish I could handle oils
and let the colors drip from a brush,
then I wish I lived in a place with enough artists
with enough time to spare so this scene might be captured,
I take a deep breath, at least someone will write a poem about it.


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.

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