Daniel Nester's first book is God Save My Queen (SoftSkull Press, 2003). The former editor of La Petite Zine, he edits the new online literary journal Unpleasant Event Schedule. His work is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2003.







Now I’m Here


A song of place. Stereo separation, separation. If I could get full-color printouts of this, I’d put it on my side dashboard. America Fuckin’ Rules! How peaches would look at me, how they’d never throw eggs at me again.[1]


But “thin cool me” suggests the onset of hepatitis, and how, much like the late-Romantics, long illnesses lead to an anti-inwardness, the time inside with slippers and the body, lumberjack-itude later.


And so, in essence, a reverse Emerson.








Stone Cold Crazy


And then I ran around. And then I flung myself up and into bushes. And then I talked to model cars. And then I stank. And then I ran up. And then I took another Cadillac emblem deep from suburbia. Hot Wheels.


The support tongs were like paper clips, man. Just a boot on the bumper, a pull, and a new key ring for a friend. Riding ten-speeds on the way home, the metal garlands digging into my thighs, short corduroy shorts.


And then I went back to Cherry Hill, and moshed into the bushes.








She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilletos)


This goes back to the pre-illness thing I was talking about earlier. The focus on two keys made to diminish, as the body diminishes, the breath. Breath makes weakness more noble.[2]


New York, two years ago before I left evil NYU Philosophy Department, a hack logician attacked me over a computer. I went to a dedicatory concert before I smashed the Dell. Power-pop realizations, drums up front.


I fell ill the next day. My wife wiped a wet rag on my breasts.










[1] Peter North, "Pumping Irene II."

[2] Marlene Dietrich. Jimi Hendrix. “Warm beer on the hood of a Dodge” (Springsteen).