Wednesday, December 9, 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 was posted on my birthday, November 21, 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

Facemasks

The disposable facemask
lying forlornly on the ground
in the parking lot,
used, abandoned, perhaps even hated.
Tossed carelessly between cars
like a used condom or fast food wrapper.
It doesn’t look like some kind of torture device.
It looks thin, inexpensive, medical, utilitarian.
So many Facebook posts, written in all caps.
So many viral videos of people screaming at weary store managers.
Such resistance
for such a small thing.
So many lives saved,
begrudgingly.

Malediction

I bought a cursed coffee mug
from a small, cluttered store
in New Orleans,
you know, the kind with incense 
and crystals and supposed
voodoo talismans.
It was a simple white coffee cup,
imprinted with various local attractions,
and I don’t normally go for touristy stuff,
but this cup called to me,
and somehow,
though I couldn’t really explain it,
I had to have it.
And it was $4.95,
so it was a pretty good deal.
Its cursed nature manifested itself
not long after I returned home
and started using the cup.
Kitchen cabinets started opening by themselves.
Dishes and utensils suddenly appeared 
in the wrong cabinets and drawers.
Once, I filled the coffee cup with cool water
that immediately started boiling
as the cup sat on the counter.
I had troubling dreams too,
dreams of laughing demons 
telling me I was damned,
visions of an angry elderly woman
with a slit throat,
opening her mouth to scream,
but no sound ever came out.
I’ve tried explaining this to people,
but they don’t really believe me,
not even my psychiatrist,
who prescribes me yet another sleeping pill.
I could try to throw it away, 
but it really is the best coffee cup I have.
The perfect thickness of the lip,
the pleasingly textured finish,
the ample depth.
Plus, you can put it in the dishwasher
or the microwave.

Blizzard

For five days straight,
the thick heavy wet white flakes
tumbled down recklessly,
inconsiderately,
never letting up even for a minute.
and school was closed,
and offices were closed,
and restaurants and stores,
and everything was closed,
except for that 24-hour pancake place,
but how could you even get there?
And the only way I figured they stayed open
was that the owner who worked in the front,
his kids who ran the kitchen,
and that waitress with the smoker’s cough
just never left the restaurant that whole time.

If I opened my front door,
I faced an eight-foot wall of solid snow,
packed in tight and frozen hard.
I had to chisel out a tunnel
just so my dog could take a shit,
but it was a wasted effort.
She spent her brief time outside
whining, confused,
poking her nose 
into the walls of the snow cavern
around her,
then she got too cold and started crying,
and held up her right front paw helplessly,
so I had to carry her back in,
and she crapped on the floor immediately.

And I knew this storm was coming,
everyone knew this storm was coming,
but I wasn’t sure that I had enough food
because it wasn’t supposed to go on this long
and the snow wasn’t supposed to get this high,
and what if the power goes out?
Then we’d be screwed.
So every day,
I worked for a few hours on my tunnel,
trying to dig out a little farther,
hoping to join someone else’s tunnel,
and my hands were cold and numb,
and my feet, despite my boots,
felt cold and wet.

I heard that Paul,
the idiot who lives down the street,
got out on his roof
and tried to jump down onto the top
of the huge snow bank.
He survived,
wasn’t really hurt at all,
surprisingly,
considering he’s usually drunk
and never wearing a shirt.