Mrs. Kringle’s Lament

It is still snowing here

Mrs. Kringle’s Lament

They said we’d only get an inch of snow
but when I wake it’s covered up the road
and slush has pulled some branches down so low
my favorite tree looks like it might explode.

I trudge outside with gloves and scarf and salt
to promptly slip and fall upon my rear
before I even reach the curb. “Assault!”
I bitch, then freeze as something licks my ear.

I scoot away, my heart up in my throat
and think:
a zombie! when the icy slop
slumps to the side like puke on glass. A coat
so cheery green it makes me want to pop

out both my eyes emerges next to me.
I groan and pinch my nose. I know that face.
Those bells. That burp. He’s grown a sparse goatee
which doesn’t quite enhance the scraggly lace

sewn on his cap. “Oh, you again!” he sneezes,
grabs my sleeve as though I’ll help him up.
Yeah, right. I dodge his drunken grasp and seize
his pointed, chilly ears. He drops his cup.

I just don’t care. He thrashes, tries to kick
but cannot get away. “Where’s the deer?”
I snarl. I wish that Santa’d get here quick
before his merry crew drinks all the beer.

“You think I’d rat out my best friends? Oh please!”
he cries, then vomits just as someone’s head
ducks out of sight behind the frosty trees
like Samurai Jack, but drunk. And wearing red.

“I know you’re there, you might as well come out,”
I call, my spirits sinking to despair
as I catch sight of antlers and a snout
crouched low behind my car. I swear.

This happens every year. No joyful bells
for me, oh no. Instead, delinquent elves,
escapees from St. Nick’s gift wrap cartels,
crash in my yard to sleep. “Show yourselves!”

I yell again, not hoping for too much.
Surprise, surprise, who waddles out? The Man.
Kris Kringle. Santa Claus. I blink and clutch
my head (I drop the elf). “What’s the plan?”

I ask. I hope he knows what’s happening.
He “ho-ho-ho’s” and sways a bit, then slips
and suddenly I feel the bitter sting
of cognizance: he’s drunk from feet to lips.

I sigh and drag his jolly ass to bed,
park the sleigh, coax Rudolph to the shed.
The elf I tuck into an extra room.
The beer, I’m sure, is gone, and none too soon.

 

2010 Christine Klocek-Lim

Tis the season

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‘Tis the Season

The malls are insane but you have to go shopping
for ribbon and candy to fill the last stocking.
You can’t stop to cry, ’tis the season for snow
and ice covered roads jammed with cars going slow
slow, so horribly … oh! There’s a dude dressed in red
on the side of the walk. He’s clutching his head
like someone hungover. His pants are all goopy:
the knees ripped right out, the butt kind of droopy.
You slow down to stare, but then offer a ride.
He kisses your cheek as he ducks down to hide.
“What the hell are you doing?” you ask and he smirks:
“Rudolph got wasted, went kind of berserk.”
You gape, shake your head. “Oh please, you’re not Santa.”
He shrugs and explains he was over Atlanta
when someone cracked open a bottle of whiskey.
“Three shots and the next thing I knew they’d got frisky.
Comet kicked Dasher right in the——”
“Stop!” you freak out, “Just keep your mouth shut.”
He laughs and you blush, thinking this must be a joke,
he can’t be St. Nick, he looks like a hoax.
“You can drop me right here,” he says while you frown.
“Prancer’s waiting right there, at the edge of the town.”
You slow down, still dubious, but the dude is quite right:
near the tree is a reindeer, head down, fur a fright.
“I told them they shouldn’t imbibe in December.
You’d think they’d believe me, or at least remember
the last time this happened.” He wrinkles his nose
and suddenly yells, “You dumbass! I almost froze!”
You freeze, not believing that Santa would curse,
but Prancer just snorts and throws up on your purse.
“Um—” you say, shocked. The reindeer looks sorry.
You gulp, and inch backwards: Santa’s no longer jolly.
He takes one step forward and scratches his ear—
the next thing you know there’s nothing but beer
left on top of the snow. And footprints. And barf.
You sigh, somewhat pissed, enough is enough,
but as you turn around twice to get out of sight
you trip on the vomit … UGH. What a night!
Next year, Santa please, don’t let them drink booze.
I’d like to go shopping … with clean shoes.

2012 Christine Klocek-Lim

Dark Matter poems featured at Nautilus — Cosmos

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I’m very excited to present a selection of poems from my book, Dark Matter, at Nautilus, for their Cosmos issue, along with some brief commentary by yours truly.

Click through to Nautilus — Cosmos, and then scroll down to choose: The Stars Are a Comforting Constant.

Hat tips to Aldrich Press, 3 Quarks Daily, and the Ellen La Forge Memorial Prize in Poetry. A very special thanks to George Musser Jr. to reaching out to me, and Regan Penaluna for the finishing touches.

front cover

September 2015 – Aldrich Press/Kelsay Books

buy link: Amazon

 

An earlier version of Dark Matter won the following prizes: 

2009 Ellen La Forge Poetry Prize (formerly the Grolier Prize) for poems: “Star explodes halfway across universe,” “Saturn’s moon may have hidden seas,” “Smallest black hole found,” “How to search for aliens,” “Mysterious white rock fingers on Mars,” and “Three galaxies and a comet.”

2009 semi-finalist in the Philip Levine Prize in Poetry.

2009 semi-finalist in the University of Wisconsin Press Poetry Series, Brittingham and Pollak Poetry Prizes.

2009 semi-finalist for the Sawtooth Poetry Prize, Ahsahta Press, Boise State University.

2010 semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Competition.

 

 

First Crocus of 2016

I think the rabbits ate the purple crocus. There are still a few green shoots with no blooms just yet, so we shall see….

First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

—first published at About.com in 2007

Love #poem for Valentine’s Day

Viennese Waltz — natural turn

It’s like flying
or falling.
Each step a revolution.
The planet tilted
too much.
Sunlight far off.
Clouds strangely graceful
even as the storm
arrives.
She says, lean back further.
Enough to contain
the rotation.

The ballroom is wide
as a plain. I’m a sapling
and he is the wind.
Sometimes I touch the floor,
toes starved for solid ground.
Sometimes I leap.
Every other step a lock
as though leaves
can be caged.

He is vertigo.
The darkened tornado
peeling my meadow.
The sky falters but I hang on,
fingers lodged in his bones.
I am a white birch.
I am a falling
branch.

I am a spinning
leaf, spiked
with rain.

from Ballroom — a love story, Flutter Press

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

[I wrote a book of love poems in 2012, and this is one of them. This chapbook is dedicated to my husband, Terry. All the poems reflect our ballroom dancing years.]

I’m reading #Pit2Pub for Evernight & Evernight Teen

ETA: #Pit2Pub was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who organized it and to the authors who participated.

Pit2Pub

I’m reading the #Pit2Pub Twitter pitches for Evernight Publishing and Evernight Teen! If I (@chrissiemkl) favorite your pitch/tweet, check out Evernight Publishing and Evernight Teen’s submission guidelines.

Evernight Publishing: Submissions

Evernight Teen: Submissions

My twitter handle is @chrissiemkl.

I’ve been reading for Evernight Publishing and Evernight Teen since 2014.

Some of my recent acquisitions for Evernight Teen:

    

Some of my recent acquisitions for Evernight Publishing:

    

Evernight Teen’s 3rd Birthday Blog Hop! #giveaway

[ETA: thanks to everyone who visited my website during Evernight Teen’s birthday celebration! I’ve picked a winner to receive an ebook copy of DISINTEGRATE: Tiffany! Congrats! The grand prize winner will be announced by Evernight Teen soon!]

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EVERNIGHT TEEN is celebrating their anniversary this month with a 3rd Birthday Blog Hop. It’s EVERNIGHT TEEN’s birthday but we’re giving out the presents with a Grand Prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate!

EVERNIGHT TEEN books feature fresh teen fiction that is raw, gritty and real. Whether paranormal, contemporary, sci-fi or suspense, our books are about real issues and pack a strong emotional punch. You’ll find cutting edge fiction that today’s young adults can relate to and will keep you turning the pages long into the night.

I’m proud to be an EVERNIGHT TEEN author. Enjoy this tease from my book, Disintegrate.

Disintegrate  epeditorsesal1s BestsellerIcon100X100   reviewertoppick2

Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
Word Count: 51,000

To read an excerpt, click here.

Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

buy links: Evernight – Amazon – Createspace Print – BookStrand – OmniLit – Smashwords – Kobo – Barnes & Noble – iBookstore

Be sure visit each stop on the BLOG HOP for more chances to WIN the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 Amazon Gift Card. You’ll receive bonus entries for commenting on each blog! Click on the links below to hop:

a Rafflecopter giveaway or Evernight Teen

Leave a comment on my blog, and I’ll pick a winner at random to receive a free ebook copy of Disintegrate!