Ben Nardolilli

Amateur Palimpsest

The Greeks might forgive our opinions, 
If we are willing to forgive theirs, 
Believe me, they can do it, 
Just not in texts that have survived for us,
Much reflecting is needed, 
Beginning with the construction 
Of new idols and new temples to put them in,
Then destroying them in due course
Because these will be ruins
Worthy of adoration and mourning,
Items we can fully appreciate 
Now that we are the ones who put them up
And brought them back down,
Controlling the past and the present again.

Stoicism and Skepticism

The desired burials never come, all we know are fragments,
ambiguities, the lost worship, nothing disappears 
for good, the established wisdom continues to be maintained
even though we know the foundations are lies,
all attempts at a new zeal lead nowhere, so long as edifices
refuse to crumble like good ruins, the sparks of change
are smothered by the shadows that they cast,
meanwhile, we rise and stand in moldy basilicas, huff incense,
and carry the trains of teachers we know are invalid, 
all in the name of a sinking harmony that cannot be disturbed.

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, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at and is trying to publish his novels. 

Flights. Issue One, June 2021