Wednesday, October 14, 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. 

My poem "What Gets Left Behind" has been published in the Summer 2020 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!)

My poems "Diagnosis" and "The First of the Plagues" have been published in Issue 4.2 of Mineral Lit Mag.

My poem "Stasis" was recently published at Pendemic. And you should submit your pandemic-related work there too!

"The Xi Movement" has been published at Rejection Letters.

You can find "Zoom" at ang(st)'s Distanced 2.0 project.

"Cotton Candy, 1983" has been posted in the inaugural issue of Perhappened Mag. I'm thrilled to announce that this poem has been nominated by Perhappened for Sundress Publications' "Best of the Net" Award for Poetry!

"bean sí" will be published in Twist in Time Mag.

"External Beam" has been published in the "Heatwave" issue of Perhappened Mag

My poem "Uninhabited" will be included as part of the Tales from the Trail YouTube project.

My micropoem "Momento Mori" will be published soon in Versification

My poem "A Bit of a Meltdown" recently found a home with Crow and Cross Keys, which will be posting its debut issue on October 31, 2020.

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

Reply All

Some of us knowingly snickered
when we saw the email titled “Dress Code” in our inboxes.
One of those “friendly reminders” that Yasmin often sent,
not singling anyone out, but you knew there was but one offender.
“Please no tank tops, flip flops, leggings, or torn jeans,” 
she demanded—gently, no admonitions or threats.
Wendy certainly meant to send her snarky reply to Nancy or Scott,
maybe even Elaine in Marketing.
But instead, she tragically selected “Reply All”
and wrote, “This is what that cow, Jessica,
is wearing Right. Now. She hasn’t worn real pants in six months.
Her shirts never even cover her ass!
Must be nice to be a VP’s niece.”
This was followed by a number of laughing and vomiting emojis.
The normal buzz of the office slowly died,
as everyone, office-wide, read this electronic missive.
A sickly silence, punctuated by some shocked murmurs
and wide-eyed whispers hidden behind hands.
And Wendy, when she realized what she had done,
was so distraught that her body temperature rose uncontrollably,
causing her to flush and sweat.
Dizzy with embarrassment and fever,
she whimpered, “I don’t feel so well,”
then literally melted into a puddle of liquid flesh, blood and viscera
right at her desk, a cloud of steam rising above what had been our coworker.
There were screams and gasps, and someone set off the fire alarm.
We stood outside our building, shedding tears and exchanging hugs.
Steve made sure to get a good look at her remains
and had a small audience gathered around him,
describing what was left of her shoes, her hair.
Jess walked right past us to her car,
drove away and never returned.
Wendy’s whole workstation had to be replaced,
and only the most temporary of interns were assigned that space.
Several days later, we received an email from Yasmin,
entitled, “Wendy Yates Memorial Details and New Email Policy.”

Tumbling

I’ve been falling in my dreams lately.
I don’t know what the context is.
I’m just plummeting, the world a blur,
my stomach somewhere in my throat.
Nothing to grab at to slow my descent.
And I really feel it,
I really feel myself falling,
so I call out in a panic,
“helphelphelphelphelphelphelp!”
And my husband gets annoyed,
because I’ve just woken him up
and terrified him with my cries,
but I’m actually fine,
just lying there on my back.
And when I am about to crash land,
my eyes flutter open,
but I don’t feel safe,
not for the rest of the day.

My Favorite Sweater

I’ve probably had it about twenty years now,
my favorite sweater.
It is the color of cinnamon, chili powder,
tart cherries, the leaves of the Japanese maple.
It’s thick and warm and protects me well from the slicing wind.
But it’s a zip-up hoodie,
so it also can be easily removed
when the afternoon sun streams in 
hot and bright through the window,
and my back starts to sweat.
My first dog, Cleo, chewed up the bottoms of the pockets,
after I had accidentally left dog treats there.
So I can’t carry anything in my favorite sweater,
and I travel light.