Kristen Steenbeeke

Dear First Name

Dear Friend, PLEASE
I am begging you send money
I am begging you send money knock doors
time is running out like water
Dear Friend, Dear %FIRSTNAME%,
Dear Dear Truly Yours For Good Dear Please
Please, the money, quickly I will match every
Enthusiasm you extend to the tune of
Money money money money
MONEY! Mercury inching up
the old thermometer while I dream
of your hot little hand. All I dream now
becomes something. I slept soundly
as Sarah drowned her baby boy in the river,
as my water braked and I’d been handed
a ten thousand year old baby by my mother DEAR
FRIEND your money will help
me get a deep tissue massage
so why don’t you rush $XX now, $XXX———
I’m in mortal pain. Friend. You would think
to leave me here, down in the pulls
of a spillway, tied with rocks, even
after all I’ve DONE? I’m counting on
all my fingers, [[FIRSTNAME]],
I know how many times
you’ve read this note.
Cacophonus Bossy Red Universe

Control Universe
tv is that empathy machine

we watch the cry and do the cry too
small clear beads rolling rolling

we pleasure the snails with a secret spray
for us they produce many slime
and the secretions scare away our ugly!

i enact my loneliness upon the world
i watch one hundred televisions

i rustle somethin’ up i rustle wrestle the true thing: scene

this outing isn’t the scene [i need]
this convo outs the scene [agreed]

INT or EXT—Somewhere betwixt?
either way it is day, the sun coats the faces

shot with a white many unlit candles
shot with mushrooms bulbousing very quick
shot with a row of dingy teeth
macro shot of grains of white sand
macro shot of exfoliating beads

i am glowing :)

some version of Ben says, “you should end your poem:
‘seasons go by like i’m binge watching’”
i am living someone else’s slimy life


KRISTEN STEENBEEKE recently graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship and Alberta Metcalf Kelly Fellowship. She won Indiana Review’s 2017 Poetry Prize and has had or will have work in Pleiades, Sixth Finch, Gramma, Pinwheel, Tin House online, Bennington Review, Poetry Northwest, and others. She’s also a proofreader and illustrator.