Stupor (Steubenville)



I don’t care what kind of girl (16)
she was; you don’t lug around, for
amusement, a person
passed out, undress her, pose
her (poking
her privates), possibly piss
on her.

And you, photographers multiple–what
were you
on the other side of your
phone’s lens? From what planet/pit
had you crept? Probocsides and digits
flywalking, snapping; clicking tweets

In upload, no hand left
for humanity.

Another terrible incident in the news, in Steubenville, Ohio. I make no pronouncements on facts – I only have read what’s in the paper, and what I’ve gleaned from that is that a fair amount of awful stuff seems to have been photographed and put online.

Posting this for dVerse Poets Open Link Night.

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45 Comments on “Stupor (Steubenville)”

  1. tashtoo Says:

    Oh no…the heart takes another knock…I’m afraid to read the story…your words have left me cold. (Not that that’s bad!) Effective, powerful, terrifying

  2. Mama Zen Says:

    It’s enough to make you sick. Absolutely terrifying.

  3. claudia Says:

    oh heck…just read…so terrible…and then the photographer… In upload, no hand left
    for humanity….that shocked me most…

  4. brian miller Says:

    frig…ugh..seriously what kind of beasts are we…how do these things happen…and someone find it amusing…

  5. Oh this is so awful do we do these things to each other–how can we find ourselves in this–

  6. Susan Says:

    Publish this poem in all the press. I too feel stupor!

  7. This is terrible K ~ Something is wrong with our culture ~

  8. I saw this happening to a girl who was passed out from either drink or drugs and was being dragged along the road and undressed and abused by two drunk young men who thought it all hilarious. I called the police and within minutes she was in an ambulance. We are becoming less than human now (it seems) how sad for the girl, for all of us.

  9. Luke Prater Says:

    Jesus really? You nailed the vitriolic response. The insects come out. Allit in this is v good

  10. Luke Prater Says:

    I think the West is collapsing. No I really do. It’s inevitable, but the rate it’s escalating is alarming

  11. I wonder if this happened before the fall of Rome. Wonderful commentary on it.

  12. Laurie Kolp Says:

    How horrible! This is the first I’ve heard of this but will look it up.

  13. awful! ugh more and more terrible stories everyday I guess…
    kinda sad that most of us are prolly used to that… 😦

  14. ihatepoetry Says:

    Ghastly, well done.

  15. This was indeed revolting – and amazing. You peel every iota of mystique off the world of porn in general, and this specific incidence is described in gruesome detail, to the benefit of those who don’t think this stuff happens. I’m a citizen of the wider world who knows this DOES happen and decry it every chance I get. Masterful, sad, sickening, real. Amy

  16. disastress Says:

    empathy once again. more hope. thanks.

  17. God, this is horror! I haven’t heard of this and am appalled.

  18. janehewey Says:

    a powerful, write, k. I will take your word for it and not read the story. makes my stomach feel sick. I am ready for some good news.

  19. Pamela Says:

    I am disgusted with the US right now and this doesn’t make the picture any brighter. What the hell is wrong with people nowadays? Good use of language here, Karin.


  20. ayala Says:

    Horrible world…..

  21. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …oh, this was quite an intriguing read… a kind of innocent intimacy…


  22. jasmine calyx Says:

    This is an excellent poem with very effective line breaks, adding subtle undertones to create an even clearer picture of the scene.

    Like these:

    “her (poking
    her privates)” … making it look like she was touching herself

    “you don’t lug around, for” … possibly implying that there were “four” girls

    “multiple–what” … expressing your shock in the questioning “what[?]”

    This is the most powerful line break, really asking some serious questions:

    “on the other side of your” … Did you even consider thinking about what it would feel like to be on the other side of “your” (to be the other person, the victim)? What were you before you were this “you”? What has turned you into this version of yourself, someone who could commit such atrocities? What were you when you were hiding behind the lens (we’re afraid to ask)?

    Fantastic: “Probocsides and digits flywalking” and “no hand left
    for humanity” How clever you are! And subtle.

  23. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Wow, hadn’t heard that case — and I live just up the river from that town. Horrible — this has happened for millenium but now these criminals have phones with cameras.

    We nurture a culture that begs for such horror.

  24. The devil dances to many tunes.
    I don’t know the stroy you refer to, k, but there are many similar ones taking place every day.

  25. Lady Nyo Says:

    Yikes, K. I haven’t heard about this, but then again….

    Your poem has powerful lines, and tells me just about enough ….

    It’s not even an issue of ‘when will it stop?”

    Lady Nyo

  26. beckykilsby Says:

    I like the limits you have placed on your sense of outrage, felt but communicated with some clever poetics. Well done K… it has to be spoken of.

  27. When I hear folks saying, not me~them… not society~individual, I shake my head and wonder at the ignorance we display when we do not cry out against atrocity. You have rightly cried out. Bravo.

  28. deb Says:

    The descriptions of the beasts involved in this event paint the picture for me…insectiod or alien like.. illustrate perfectly that they are soul less and inhuman.
    “Probocsides and digits
    flywalking, snapping; clicking tweets

    In upload, no hand left
    for humanity.”

    Thank you for sharing this

  29. No hand left for humanity. Enough said.

    Thank you for sharing.

  30. Mary Says:

    This saddens me greatly. I really don’t understand the mentality of some people. What has happened to man’s (woman’s) humanity?

  31. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    When our humanity is duct-taped inside our sweaters, and the darkness of hurting others for fun begins to poke its ugly head into pods of people, it remains for the poets to sound the alarm, to chide the perpetrators, to search for sanity; this poem is timely, using the news for muse; love it, hate the message.

  32. I was shaken by your poem, and even more aghast when I read the full story when I followed your link. Sometimes I think, when I read things like this, what have we come to? And I don’t have any answers.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      No, I don’t either. But I think the obsession with celebrity – making a media splash must have something to do with it. (I can’t think it cool! But it’s so odd what people want to do.) k.

  33. I have a sixteen year old daughter… and to think we all have seeds of potential to be kind and we all have the seeds to be cruel… how is it that certain seeds propagate in some and others in others… I don’t like to think of it as evil so much as sickness… terrible, terrible sickness.

  34. I see Monet, I hear Marge Piercy! Wonderful !

  35. clawfish Says:

    Human nature when it goes to a darker side nothing can be as evil a sad tale and the media is capturing such events so quickly now

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