Chicago XXXVII

posted Nov 13, 2007

And they’re playing the Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark songs again, an obvious choice for a Sunday with overcast sky. And the barrista in a long black coat plays each CD twice through. And I should say I was at this cafe a long long time. And I stared at one young man who drank his chai tea real slow. And it turns out he had these huge tan biceps—And I asked myself, How can he keep those guns pumped up when he drinks so much chai tea and snort-smokes Camel Lights like no new-waver’s business? And I should have said something big then, like all Pure Poetry has gone forever. And I should have put my palms over my face, flipped my collar up.

Daniel Nester is the author of God Save My Queen, God Save My Queen II, and The History of My World Tonight. His writing has appeared in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, The Best American Poetry 2003, Open City, and elsewhere. He writes articles and reviews for Poets & Writers, Time Out New York, and Bookslut, edits the online journal Unpleasant Event Schedule, and maintains a website at