Nick’s Poetic Ponderings -“Getting Rich the Easy Way”

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Have you ever thought to yourself: “ahhhh geeze, I wish I could ask a poet for life advice,”? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m Nick, a real-life poet, and I’m here to give you guidance.


Today’s Question:

“Dear Nick,

I’m going to be getting my tax return back soon, but I’m not sure what I should do with the money. Do I pay my bills or buy something exciting?

-Fiscally Frightened”



Dear Fiscally Frightened,

I’m gonna be blunt with you, friend: both of these ideas are terrible. Paying your bill is boring and buying something cool is a onetime thrill.

You need to be able to buy yourself new stuff constantly.

Which is why you need to invest that tax return, baby.

I’m not talkin’ the stock market, none of that billionaire nerd ass shit. You gotta do it the good old fashion way. Here’s your best bet for stretching that tax return to the stratosphere:

Option one: Have you been eying some dunks? Or some Birkenstocks? Why waste your money on a fresh pair, when you can put your DIY ethos to action. No, I’m not saying make your own shoes, I’m saying make your own sweatshop.

How do you think Nike makes all that money? Do you think they’d pay bills with their tax return, if they paid taxes in the first place? Of course not.

Just find some kids, pay them pennies to work, and you’re all set.

Option two: Let me explain a little economics 101 for you. When you receive money, the amount you have is finite. That means that when you spend it, you’re going to eventually run out.

But there’s a really neat hashtag lifehack to get around that: counterfeit money from Wish dot com.

Wish sells a whole lot of fake money. Some is designed for movie props or whatever, and a lot just has some Chinese characters printed on top. That’s totally fine though, just get $1s and $5s. No one checks that shit.

Just sneak yourself a fake $1 in between two real $1s; 7-11 ain’t gonna notice. Buy a Slurpee with it. Shove candy bars in the Slurpee cup before you fill it.

Boom. You just paid three dollars and left with like $6 worth of shit.

Option three: Why take a lump sum when you can easily quadruple your money at any Kroger in the country?

That’s right baby, I’m talkin about the magic of scratch offs.

You invest your whole tax return, turn that thing into a bunch of $1 lottery tickets, you’re bound to make it all back and then some.

Like, I haven’t actually done the math on this but it seems to make sense. If you buy enough, you’ll probably end up with a quarter of a million in no time.


And really, that’s all there is to it. Just invest your money in any of the above ways and watch your “bread,” as the kids say, multiply.


Have a question for Nick? DM him on Twitter! @dollartreevegan

Nick’s Poetic Ponderings – “Pesky Landlord Blues”

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Have you ever thought to yourself: “ahhhh geeze, I wish I could ask a poet for life advice.” While, you’ve come to the right place. I’m Nick, a real-life poet, and I’m here to give you guidance.


Hello Nick,

Recently, my landlord came into my home to fix my bathroom cabinet. The problem is, I wasn’t home when he arrived, and he didn’t even bother to call me and let me know he was coming! What should I do?


Concerned Tenant




Hello Concerned Tenant,

I’m going to be honest with you, all landlords are horrific monsters whose sole purpose is to slowly suck money from you, in an effort to destroy your life and pound your soul into a closed circuit of pain and horror, a pain and horror you can never hope to escape until the loving kiss of death comes to relieve you of the disgusting embrace of the modern world.

But that’s okay! We almost all have to deal with it, unless you have a career and a house or whatever. And who wants that?

Here’s what you need to do:

Booby trap the house. I’m talkin’ Home Alone type shit, but worse. Imagine the scene where Marv steps on the nail, the way you can feel his pain. The way you can see the end of the scene without it actually being shown: the nail running all the way through his foot, blood pulsating out like a Yellowstone geyser. Etc, etc.

I would suggest creating a trebuchet of sorts, not to launch your landlord out of the window and to a slow and painful death, but to launch some crucifixion style nails at him, at roughly 90 miles per hour. The nails should be dipped in a mixture of strychnine and arsenic, suspended in alcohol. The edges should be wrapped in 80 grit sandpaper, Mod Podge’d on in case they do not fly true, so you still have the possibility of taking out an eye or severing a nipple even if the tip doesn’t quite make it all the way through their flesh.

While I am legally not allowed to provide you instructions on how to construct this machine, you could use a number of different house-hold items: toothpicks, pens, rubber bands, an extension cord, and a map of the state of West Virginia (country road take me home!)

Or, actually, I guess you could just call and ask them not to do it again. That would probably work too.


Your humble adviser,



Have a question for Nick? DM him on Twitter! @dollartreevegan

Three Poems by Nick Wort

sc june 18

Notes from a Birthday Party #2

There is a diner in southern Michigan that lists
spaghetti as an “ethnic offering”
we are at that diner, 2:03 AM
and it is your birthday, we are drunk
and you are sitting beside me, drinking milk

I know that the lactose inside of
that milk will upset your stomach,
sugary shoelace knots of
carbon and hydrogen and oxygen
will run — undigested — through your
intestinal track, like Carl Lewis in 1984

I am trying to eat French fries (which
are not an “ethnic offering”) but

it is hard to focus on eating because
your friend (my friend too)
is beside us and talking about her biscuits
and gravy having too much sausage
and her friend (your friend too)
is beside her having a panic attack

it is hard to focus on eating
because I dumped too much ketchup
on my impressively crinkled fries

it is hard to focus on eating
because the inside of my brain is
a fog machine of Prozac and Tecaté

it is hard to focus on eating
because all of my jokes are stupid
but you’re drunk and laughing anyway

and eventually, I guess that we have to leave,
and eventually, someone pays
(I did not pay)

and we stumble to the back seat of a
silver Ford Taurus with automatic
locks and windows
(and heated seats)

and you look at me and mumble, and it
sounds like you’re speaking
in tongues, and you put your head
on my shoulder for exactly 5.8 seconds
then turn away

your breath smells like
a garden of Marlboro Reds
(the short ones, the 83s)

Chicago (January 2017)

The checkerboard tile was covered in a patina of nicotine yellow and mud from the soles of dirty Doc Martens.
And I am watching you sway to some 2000s R&B hit with questionable lyrics sung by a man with a questionable
lifestyle, as the smell of mids wafts in from an alley out back, in through a graffitied door slightly ajar, I wonder if you
even notice. Your hands and your feet move to the beat, but never quite the way they should — instead you are
the second hand of a clock: mechanical and precise, expected but stiff. Sometimes when you twitch just right
you move a little too fast, a bit out of time, and the beer in your glass leaps up above the rim — a little amber tsunami
dripping down to your fingers. It’s astonishing, but you don’t notice, and you leap back in just a second too late.


568 years ago in what is now Peru,
an ancient civilization sacrificed
140 children and 200 llamas to the
moon, according to National Geographic.

I feel bad for the llamas.

Before the sacrifice, the children’s
hearts were ripped out en rituel,
and before that, red char was
rubbed into their crying little faces,
like black streaks below a
linebacker’s eyes.

What does a human heart smell like
anyway? Red wine? Licorice? The
hair of a former lover? The smell
that still sticks to your pillow, even
after you started smoking again
just to get rid of it, because
you’re dramatic and young and
stupid despite your balding head
and the degree covered in dust
above your window?

Maybe they smell like chartreuse.

A scent known only to bougie
alcoholics and Charthusian monks
in the snow soaked mountains of
France. Monks who have taken a
vow of silence to protect their bitter
green liquor.
(Great with a mint garnish!)

I wonder if any of them deserved it?

Certainly one among the 140 was a
little shit. Wouldn’t clean its room,
take out the trash, deserved to be
strewn to bits and shoveled into a
sacrificial pit to appease an astral body.

But those llamas.

Nick Wort is a grad student at IU South Bend, and the winner of the 2017 Wolfson Poetry Prize. Follow him on Twitter: @dollartreevegan

Three Poems by Nick Wort


Kentucky Wildkats

Last week I
dropped a can of Shaq Soda
on the ground, and it burst like
the American Dream. The corn syrup
smelled like a sweaty baseball cap,
it felt like
the fourth of July


When I walk into your house I smell
Vaseline and Swanson TV dinners

You tell me you’re a libertarian
so I piss on your sheets
and dare you to call the police

In the morning,
you tell me I should try and be
saved, but we all know that was Bob Dylan’s
worst album.

And besides, I don’t want to
be forgiven, and I know
everything I’ve done wrong.

Lucky Number 9

CDs are made of plastic and
binary code and reflective
material. Stupid when we
could just sing to each other forever

I feel like I’m getting sick
but I know I’m not getting sick

Am I getting sick?
“Outlook not so good”


2 months ago I

watched you sing karaoke
in a beige shirt, top three buttons
undone, hair curling off your chest.

I smiled at you

White Shoes

Do you remember my
high school grad party
no one showed up to?

I cried into a box of pizza,

you took your pants off behind
my garage.
Red lace in the grass, polka dots
in the cream clouds.

Nick Wort likes bikes, cats and plants. He lives in South Bend Indiana. Follow him on Twitter: @dollartreevegan