Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hello and Welcome!

If you're one of the five people I imagine will visit this site at least once, I'm glad you're here!  A couple of notes:

  • Please bear with me re: any formatting issues.  It's been at least four years since I've messed around with Blogger.  I imagine that my theme and fonts will be less lame in the future.  I just want to get things up and running asap or this will be one of those passing fancies I'm too busy for mid-February.  If you see any obvious problems, let me know!
  • I imagine that I will update at least once a week, probably more to start.
  • Most of these poems were written during weekly meetings of the Schaumburg Poetry Group (hi, guys!) in response to prompts, so much of the content is purely fictional and not about YOU or HIM, per se.
  • I don't care about meter and have never cared about it, even when it was my business as an English major to care about it.
  • I have been writing creatively for about as long as I can write, yet SOMEHOW continue to languish in complete obscurity.  I am proud to say that my work has been rejected by many of the best publications in America, and I look forward to collecting new rejections from poetry magazines and websites in the future. 
  • If you would like me to link to your creative endeavor, leave me a comment!
  • Questions?  Concerns?  I can do almost nothing about the current American political situation.  I will delete spam comments with joyful abandon.  I will obsessively check for comments.  I am already filled with self-doubt.

First, Some Good News!

Hi everyone,

I just thought I'd take a moment to toot my own horn, as it were.

My poem "Home" was selected to be read at the Jersey City Writers' "Genre Night," on April 21, 2018, which kicked off the Jersey City Art Council's Poetry Festival Week. It will also soon be published on the Jersey City Writers' website.

Next, I just found out that my poem "What Gets Left Behind" will appear in a future issue of Kaleidotrope.

My poem "The Last Girl" has been published in Issue 4 of Arsenika.

You can now read my poem "Lethargy" on The Pangolin Review.

Also, my poem "Maida Vale" has been accepted by The Wells Street Journal for their April 2019 issue.

One verse of a haiku series, "The T-12 Chronicles" will be published in Issue 74 of Leading Edge Magazine as an "Honorable Mention" in their "Sci-Faiku" (sci-fi haiku) contest.

My micropoems "Tethered" and "Horsehead Nebula" have been published in Issue 2 of Black Bough Poetry. (page 37!)

I'll be sure to post links to my work as they get published!

Also, if you'd like to follow me on Twitter, here I am.  I am not, in real life, a dog.  I should probably have some kind of professional author Twitter profile, but that's more work than I want to put into that site right now.

--Karen

Buy me a Ko-Fi?

Hi everyone,

I drink a LOT of tea at the Corner Bakery every week to produce these poems that you (hopefully) enjoy!  If you are interested in sponsoring my tea-drinking/poetry production, please visit my Ko-Fi site at https://ko-fi.com/karensteiger.  Please don't feel obligated to do so, even if you know me in real life.  :)

Karen

Anger Management


I gaped at him in amazement
as Kevin raged.
It was unexpected;
the conference room door
still stood open,
and no one was brave enough
to move to close it,
so we all knew his shouts
echoed throughout the office.

He punctuated his sentences
by slamming his right fist on the table.
Flecks of spittle flew out of his mouth,
as he spat insults and threats.
Narrowed dark eyes
and that vein in his forehead bulging.
His face was bright red then,
his voice even cracked a little
as his fury reached its climax.
Poor Nick.
His cell phone,
sitting on the table in front of him,
suddenly came to life
with an audible vibration.
Kevin grabbed the phone
and threw it as hard as he could
against the opposite wall.
Lucy dodged it with a gasp.
Everyone else was silent.

Kevin looked around the room then,
almost looked surprised to see our terrified faces,
afraid to speak,
afraid to breathe.
He exhaled slowly then.
“Well,” he said at last.
Did he feel ashamed
or just satisfied, relieved?
Like gulping down a hot meal
after a long fast?
He dismissed us then,
and we quickly filed out
as though a fire drill had just been announced.

Derek found me smoking outside later.
“Wow,” he said, and I nodded.
“You okay?” he asked.
After all, it had been my mistake,
and everyone knew it.
“Yeah,” I responded,
crushing the cigarette with my shoe,
“I’m fine.”

Prevarication


I look across the table for two
romantically lit by a fake flickering candle,
and I can tell by the way you avoid my eyes
that you’ve been lying to me again.
You big phony lying liar with your goddamn lies.
You pause your lying to my face for a moment
in order to type out more lies on your cell phone
with your stupid fat lying thumbs.
“Who were you texting just now?” I ask with a vicious smile,
the cat batting around the mouse just for fun.
“No one,” you shrug then try to change the subject.
“No one?” I ask again. “You were texting no one at all?”
“Well, a coworker,” you reply, “but it wasn’t important.”
“See,” you point out, “I’ve put my phone away.”
You then pretend to ignore it as it buzzes angrily in your pocket.
I’m not even remotely curious
because I’ve already talked to her.
She swears she didn’t know,
but then, she’s probably a pretty good liar too.
It’s all over for you,
although you don’t know it yet,
probably think you’re getting away with something.
You’re going to buy me one last expensive dinner
before I leave you,
shamed and shattered,
at the restaurant,
a waiter discreetly handing you a napkin
to wipe the red wine dripping from your face
onto your crisp white dress shirt.
You’ll watch me walk away,
and you’ll slink, alone, to your car,
the one with the cut brake lines.
Because when I wished you well,
with that half-hearted hug,
I was lying.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

I Had My Reasons


I threw the book at his head
and almost immediately after
thought it was a bit extreme.
Maybe even out of proportion
to the offense,
but the tome had been thrown,
and although it didn’t hit him,
the action could not be undone.
Indeed, the look on his face,
after he ducked
and the book slammed against
the wall behind him,
was one of shock, hurt, and a growing rage.
And I wished then that I could freeze time
before he had a chance to respond,
point his long index finger at me,
shout words like “crazy” and “out of control,”
threaten to call the police,
rush out of the house without his coat,
then maybe ten minutes later
stomp back into the house,
silently ripping his coat off the hanger
in the closet by the front door
and storm back out,
slamming the door behind him
with a cold finality.
No, I’d freeze time if I could,
pausing the action,
silencing him,
zooming in on his widened eyes,
his jaw slackened in disbelief.
And maybe I should rewind time
and take back the book-throwing,
but it was better than hurling a knife
or a cast-iron frying pan,
and it was just a paperback book,
but it was over 700 pages.

Spellbound


The worst part was
I slipped him that love potion,
making him mine forever,
but only afterwards did I realize,
to my horror,
that he was excruciatingly boring,
and his nose looked weird from certain angles.

Goodbye to All That


Recliner,
leather, tan,
near the door,
hard to push back.
TV on the opposite wall.
The nurse gives me a pillow
and a warm comforter. A little pinch
of a needle. I sip my apple juice
when she flushes my port because I can taste
the saline flowing through my veins. I don’t know why.
It’s really gross. Steroid, anti-nausea, Benadryl, another saline flush, Taxol, drowsy.
Try to nap, hours pass, have to pee, hungry, no snacks there,
just some saltine crackers. Matt plays on his phone, I check my texts.
Watch Love It or List It or Home Town or Property Brothers on HGTV.
My infusion pump squawks loudly, and the nurse chirps, you’re all done! Time for home.