Daniel Nester

Poem Beginning with 1.5 Lines from Stupid Idiot Person Joe Rogan
NewsRadio, 1995

Do you know the expression it’s better to be a warrior in a garden
than a gardener in a war?
Are you familiar with the dictum,
it’s cooler to be an axe murderer in the metaverse than a metaverser
with an axe? Do you know the saying, it’s more convenient to be a drag queen
at Sephora than a Donnie Darko at Spencer’s? Or how about the one
that goes it’s way cooler to be a drifter born to walk alone than to be
a loner born with driftwood? Can you dig the ancient saying that it’s smarter
to be dilettante who lurks in a food court than a debutant
who deep-throats a corn dog? That, and it’s simpler to be a neoliberal on Reddit
than a thinkfluencer on Ron Silliman’s blog? Indulge me as I
break out the old chestnut, is it less creepy to be a frat boy in the desert
than a dessert at a frat party? Do you know the truism
it’s smarter to be a critic at Book Expo than to be Bruce Kulick on a Kiss Kruise?
Consider the platitude, it’s more fulfilling to be a freakazoid on a gentrified block
than a gentrifier with a flirtatious streak? Are you acquainted with the catchphrase
it’s better to be a sweetheart at a swap meet than a meathead at a sweet shop?
Do you know the expression it’s more career-friendly to be a nutjob with a microphone
or a rubbernecker in a firing squad than a less awful person?



Daniel Nester is the author of five books, most recently of Harsh Realm: My 1990s, a collection of poetry and prose poems forthcoming from Indolent Books. He edits Pine Hills Review, the online literary journal of The College of Saint Rose, where he is also professor of English. Find more at danielnester.com