11. A Certain Kind of Spider
The male of the species knows we want him.
This is an early poem from the point of view of a black widow spider. Pretty self-explanatory, really, and a good thematic pairing for the murderess protagonist of “Lady Blue and the Lampreys”. It’s also the only poem I ever had published in Star*Line, before I decided that I wasn’t very interested in Star*Line or the SFPA, really.
(The sign-language aspect of the poem was added rather hastily, when a beta reader asked how the male spider was still talking after the narrator had already eaten his head. Oops.)
12. The Siren of Mayberry Crescent
She snaps her jaws together.
Silence is golden.
A poem about the domestic life of a siren who, Little Mermaid-like, has gone on land with a lover who cannot deal with her voice.
The inspiration for this one came from a minor D&D NPC who was a siren (actually a “sirine”, which, in typical D&D monster fashion, is rather different from the original myths). I started wondering what her home life was like and how she felt about it. Inevitably the poem wandered from that starting point and went somewhere else, and some uncomfortably personal stuff also crept in.
This poem was published in Mythic Delirium #29. It was nominated in the long category for the Rhysling Award that year, which was my first-ever Rhysling Award nomination. (The second, “The Giantess’s Dream”, was in the short-form category, and was published too recently to go into this collection.)