Ben Nardolilli: Two Poems

Coney Island Avenue

Dogs are quoting broken Shakespeare at me,
children claim I’m their friend 
while fleeing because I’m still a stranger to them,
in the bodega the coffee pots stare
and the cats turn to heavy bears,
each one stalking me from the cereal to the beer

I tell them I’ll miss them, 
in order to make them go away, the lights
overhead are a big white cloud,
and the streetlights are worthy of remembrance,
I use them to navigate this original work 
that put these streets down as straight lines on paper


I want you to read my proposal,
the name derives from the state of mind
where the sleeper drifts 
to the edge of awakening

But the overall aim is to act as a small 
beacon and a big wind,
setting up a literary pecking order 
in place of bureaucracy

Please, read on, use us to go through us,
trending together in the anomalous 
so long, and so hard,
we all eventually reach the orthodox

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