Nathaniel Kostar

Nathaniel Kostar is a graduate of Rutgers University and currently pursuing his MFA at The University of New Orleans Low-Residency program.  He spent the past summer studying Ezra Pound in Italy with UNO, and training Muay Thai (Thai boxing) in Phuket, Thailand. He enjoys doing random things not only because he thinks it makes him more intriguing when he meets a pretty girl at a bar, but because he believes variety is the spice of life. He is also not afraid to write in cliches.    Nathaniel currently resides in Seoul, South Korea where he teaches English to elementary and middle school students. He is originally from New Jersey. More of his work can be found at:


Three Poems (December 20, 2010. Issue 23.)

The Turtle

I dreamt my brother was a giant sea turtle
Swimming around in a clear-water tank.

And I was looking down on him from above
Shouting things like:
“Come on, let’s go! Stop being such a turtle!
Why aren’t you walking straight like the rest of us!?”

But he wouldn’t listen to me.
He just kept on swimming around,
Back and forth, back and forth:
Movements without logic.

And he remained a turtle until I woke up.
And I kept screaming from the steps above.

Things were almost exactly as they are now.

Old Ghosts

Old ghosts sitting on their own graves,
Pipes smoking syntax and things; sip of wine and laugh at the fool in the coffin
Shit, he thought he had it all figured out, they say
And just like that

No rest

no rest in sleep
when I dream of you:

his car in your driveway
and both of you
behind the glass.

it’s a giant window,
like my grandmother’s window,
and you are now
living on my street
in my neighborhood.

and I imagine that he, clean cut,
probably has a real nice job,
gets paid every week and takes you out for
not to that half-price sushi spot
we used to go
but to the fancy one
around the corner
with the neon sign.
and I imagine that he, handsome,
probably is an incredible lover;
is enormous.

and on the way back down the street (it’s
a dead end street and I have to circle back
if I ever want to make it home)
I pull my hooded sweatshirt tight around my eyes
so I can’t be seen.

and even your family is there this time,
getting out of their car,

I walk passed you again
this time with ideas of escape
to casino
or Cuba
jumping around in my head

And you, still in my grandmother’s window, are leaning over him.

I want to look into your eyes but you’re not looking at me.
you’re leaning over him the way lover’s do
to instigate a touch.

I want to look into your eyes but you’re not looking at me.

and I’m just walking down the street
nowhere to go
and nothing but
a stupid dream
and worthless poem

to carry home
to no one