June 2006

Daniel Nester


Daniel Nester Daniel Nester is the author of God Save My Queen (Soft Skull Press, 2003) and God Save My Queen II (Soft Skull Press, 2004), as well as The History of My World Tonight (BlazeVox, 2006). He edits the online journal Unpleasant Event Schedule and is Assistant Web Editor for Sestinas for McSweeney’s. He is an Assistant Professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
Semi-Insane Arietta    Click to hear in real audio

She thinks I am the sun god
and I am charmed. She tells me
how hot it is, and I move from frosty
silence to speech. "Tell me
what you need," I say. "I need
to control the sun," she says.  
"That's where you come in."  
As cold people huddle
in their rooms, she knocks
on my door, swaddled in layers
of sweatshirts. She tells me
how the sun beats down on her again,
so hard she stands on a chair
to defy the heat. I tell her finally
that I'm merely a man, a man with
a thermostat and an eager smile.
She shirks me with a shriek, points at me
down cold corridors. "This will not stand,"
she says. I leave fresh green apples
and Lorna Doones by my door,
but she refuses it all—
she ignores the sweetness of sugar,
the starch that swells her face with scorn,
she spurns all fruits of the gracious sun.



Daniel Nester: Poetry
Copyright ©2006 The Cortland Review Issue 32The Cortland Review