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Dan Nielsen

Dan waving arms

Photo by Chelsey Corrin

Dan Nielsen drinks bourbon and plays ping pong. Old credits include Random House and University of Iowa Press anthologies. Recent work in: Jellyfish Review, Bird’s Thumb, Minor Literature[s], Storm Cellar, Spelk, and Pidgeonholes. Dan has a website: Preponderous and you can follow him @DanNielsenFIVES.



when I was one and learning to walk
my psychiatrist advised me to take baby steps

when I was little I believed I had a guardian angel
but it was just my imaginary friend in an angel costume

when I was a kid
I thought Pop was Snap and Crackle’s dad

when she put peanut butter on my graham crackers
I knew my mother loved me but most of the time I wasn’t so sure

when I was bad I had to go to my room or stand in the corner
and when I was really bad I had to stand in the corner in my room

when I found out I was adopted the hardest part
was telling those people who thought they were my parents

when I brag about my secret life
people accuse me of being an alter-ego maniac

when I left the party to pick up the pizza
everyone was nice to me for about an hour

when I noticed that my inflatable girlfriend was getting fat
I didn’t say anything I just stopped pumping

when I get high and someone threatens to kill me
it makes me paranoid


when God told Eve that she had sinned
Eve said now can I put on some clothes

when they asked Jesus where babies come from
he said an angel visits your mom

when you turn your frown upside-down
you’ll still be upset

when you’re alone
it’s best not to show too much emotion

when a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it
it gets back up


when a beautiful woman is the only person in a bar
who pays for her drinks

when rain falls from a cloud
does the cloud because it’s lighter go up


when the blind man died his seeing eye dog was despondent
because it really should have seen that bus coming

when my shoe came untied
I realized I’m not that good at tying shoes

when the zombie bit the vampire the vampire said
oh great now I’m a vampire and a zombie


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