Posted in Poetry

“Ms. M” – A Friction Poem

On Saturday, I had the privilege of hearing Alan Birkelbach speak at the Austin Poetry Society‘s November meeting. Alan, a former Texas Poet Laureate, read several of his enchanting, relatable poems, talked about his involvement with the Words of Preservation project, gave advice on the publishing industry, and led the audience in a short writing exercise– all in just over an hour. It was a great afternoon, packed full of inspiration.

The writing exercise was about what Alan called “friction poems.” We were given a list twenty well-known figures (both real and fictional) and twenty commonplace occupations. Our job was to place our famous character in a situation where they could not possibly exist and… see what happens. We had ten minutes to write.

Here’s what I came up with. (I’ll let you figure out which character and job I chose.)

“Ms. M.”

“Who are you?”
“Are you our sub?”
“Where’s Ms. Davis?”
“What’s your name?”
     “You may call me Ms. M,” she said.
She wore dark glasses
and a long flowing dress.
Her hair was wrapped in a scarf.
The students rolled their eyes and giggled.
They changed seats,
lied about their names,
threw paper balls at the fish tank
when her back was turned.
     “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” she said.
They ignored her.
She passed out worksheets
about subordinate clauses.
They drew pictures on them instead.
She asked for a volunteer
to read the daily poem.
They made fart noises
with their armpits.
     “I’m warning you,” she said.
Finally, when two boys who were
fighting over a juice box
made it explode orange liquid
all over her desk,
Ms. M. had had enough.
     “That’s it!” she cried. “BE. STILL.”
And then Ms. Medusa
     took off her sunglasses
          and let down her hair.

© Carie Juettner, 2017.

🙂 Happy Fall Break to all the teachers out there!

Posted in Poetry

Cicada Emerging and Some Poetry Updates

Greetings, friends!

Today I’d like to share a few poetry updates, and a poem.

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Poetry Updates

First, I’m proud to announce that my poem “Night Walk” was published in the most recent issue of Dreams & Nightmares. If you’re interested in obtaining your own copy, here’s how to do it, per the publisher’s blog:

Try out a pdf of any issue for $1 or a print copy for $5 (paypal to jopnquog at gmail dot com). Lifetime PDF subscription for $39 includes all back issues; $90 gets you a lifetime subscription to both print and PDF editions, including all available back issues. Search the archives of this blog for “contents” of recent issues. And right now, get pdfs of the last TWO issues for a buck. You can pay by check to David Kopaska-Merkel, 1300 Kicker Rd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35404, if you don’t use paypal.

My poem is in issue #106.

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Next, Best Austin Poetry 2015-2016 is now available at Lulu.com for only $5.32. This lovely little volume of winning verses from the Austin Poetry Society includes two poems by me: “Rooster with a Guitar” and “I Hate Those Poems.” The prizes for this year’s Austin Poetry Society Annual Awards will be announced this Saturday at the Yarborough Branch Library in Austin at 1:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public, so if you’d like to hear some award-winning poems, come join us!

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And finally, I’m happy to share that my poem “The Morning After” will be reprinted in the 2018 Texas Poetry Calendar, which is available for pre-order from Dos Gatos Press. If you order by Monday, May 22nd, you get 20% off!

And now, as promised, a poem

This poem won third place in a National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) contest in 2016, and was published in their anthology, Encore. It seems fitting to share at this time of year, when the school year is drawing to a close and students everywhere are shedding their old shells for new, more mature forms. I wish them the best of luck in their transformations.

Cicada Emerging

You perch atop your former self—
a crisp brown casing
with a family resemblance.
(It has your eyes and legs.)

Not yet ready to say goodbye,
the new you pauses—
glistening, green,
still holding on to your shell.

I get it. Change is hard.

For seventeen years you lived underground
putting one stiff leg in front of the other,
unaware that your future awaited
in the treetops.

Now, you’ve journeyed through the earth,
climbed into the open air,
broken free from your restraints,
emerged into a world abuzz with life.

As soon as your wings harden, you’ll fly.

But lurking within rebirth
is a memory
of shadowy spaces
and struggling steps.

Even when you take to the sky,
some part of you
will always remember
what it was like to crawl.

© Carie Juettner, 2016

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Posted in Poetry, Teaching

Contests, Workshops, and One Very Creepy Poem

Hello and happy Thursday!

I’ve got some POETRY NEWS to share with you. There’s a little something in this post for everybody—adult poets, student poets, teachers, and even lovers of horror.

Student Poetry Contests

pstlogo_paint_05Entries to the Poetry Society of Texas Student Awards are due March 1, 2016. PST offers 82 contests to students in grades 1 through 12 on a variety of subjects and forms. This is a great way for young writers to find out what it’s like to send their work out to the world. There is no fee to enter, and winning poems will be published in the PST anthology. Teachers, please consider sharing this opportunity with your students. The deadline to submit is only 12 days away!

Austin Poetry Society Annual Awards

APSIf you’re an adult looking to submit work, the Austin Poetry Society’s Annual Contests are open right now. The deadline for submitting is April 1, 2016, and you must be an APS member. (See our website for details about the contests and information on how to join the society.) Winners will be announced at our Annual Awards Ceremony on May 28, 2016. First, second, and third place poets will win cash prizes, and first place poems will be published in the Best Austin Poetry anthology for 2016. (You can buy a copy of the current anthology, which includes two of my poems, at Lulu.com.)

School Visits, Poetry Presentations, & Workshops

SchoolVisits_WellsBranchTeachers in the Austin area, if you’d like a published poet to teach a workshop or presentation to your class, please contact me. I now do school visits and offer five different presentations for grades 3 through 12. Details can be found on my SCHOOL VISITS page. If your students miss the PST contest deadline and are still interested in submitting their work, consider hiring me for the “Path to Publication” presentation. Not only will I teach them proper submission etiquette and help them craft a professional cover letter, but I’ll also provide information about more contests, journals, and organizations who accept work from young poets.

A Little HORROR Poem

377239_origAnd last, but not least, my poem, “Someone,” is published this week at Grievous Angel. If you’re in the mood for something creepy, check it out. And while you’re there, don’t forget to read the other three poems published with it. I’m in good company with Ken Poyner, Herb Kauderer, and John Grey. (Oh, and don’t worry. If you hire me for a school visit, the poems I share with your students will NOT be this scary!)

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Have a great day! Sweet dreams.  🙂
Carie