Nicole Steinberg – ‘Getting Lucky’ Poems [AUDIO]

Nicole Steinberg’s Getting Lucky series pulls text from back-issues of Lucky Magazine, the self-proclaimed “magazine about shopping & style,” and rearranges the copy into poetry, providing a cheeky perspective on how the magazine’s use of language—almost absurdist at times—affects its female reader base. Three of these poems are available below along with audio recordings from last month’s holiday party, where she also read selections from her chapbook Birds of Tokyo (Dancing Girl Press, 2011).


Getting Lucky With Edith

It’s ennui that plagues the beautiful starlet
who claims to love cheeseburgers. She tastes
mildly of peppermint and cinnamon chalk,
bathed in creams, milks and pistachio butter
with a just-back-from-safari glow. You might
spot her at a cool London flea market, straight
from the planetarium, or just grabbing milk
at the store—a Studio 54 Audrey Hepburn
in strappy sandals, tulle overlay and a most
wearable cape from a Paris couturier.
It’s important that fashion be reasonable
with a touch of hysteria. We’re all fighting over
who gets to take this pedigree peacock home,
the lush kaleidoscope under that flouncy skirt.


Getting Lucky With Lindsay

Body-conscious and puffy in seventh grade,
awash in a spectrum of Prada-swathed, mini
Cleopatras, a tough-as-nails collegiate girl sparked
my fixation with the feminine form. Tawny and
pigment-drenched, her hipster horn-rims popped
with a confident cool next to my sloppy denim
overalls and tie-dyed scrunchies. My ballerina
boyfriend, glitzy and buff—I lived in her shrunken
baby tees for months, smelling the fabric, exuberant
and ready. These days, I’m paired with sleek, tight-faced
fashion cartoons who’d throw me out a window
for a fabulous mascara—a departure from my favorite
wildcard and our smoldering nights; how we came
together, built for touch and always taking more.


Getting Lucky With Jamie

If you want to go a tiny bit hipster, here’s how:
Grab a romper and go to town on the all-natural train
from Jackson Heights to lower Manhattan; mask
any contempt for the matchy-matchy girls under
your straw fedora and un-meltable hair. Always
have Kate Moss’s precise address and phone
number at the ready; indulge in vanilla soft-serve
and run wild through dressing rooms, completely
guilt-free. Hide your arbitrary fears and Connecticut
weakness; call forth your tough, punk rock shine.
Stay pretty in the heat of the New York chill
you’ve dreamed of since you were a teenager, even
after you’re no longer new. Lick your black pearl lips,
telegraph a dose of danger. Let it come, dripping wet.


Nicole Steinberg is the editor of the literary anthology Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens, as well as an editor at large at LIT magazine. Her poetry has appeared in H_NGM_N, No Tell Motel, BOMB, Gulf Coast, and other publications. She is the author of Birds of Tokyo (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) and founder of Earshot, a NYC reading series. She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she paints her nails.

“Getting Lucky With Jamie” originally appeared in H_NGM_N.