November 3, 2008
By Nora Stasio, South Plainfield, NJ

Svetlana was a spider.
(Argiope Aurantia [or-
a writing spider.
But if you were to ask her, she would be known
as none other
than a writer spider.
For writer rhymes with spider
very quaintly,
wouldn’t you say?
Svetlana thought so.])

Svetlana adored poetry.
She reveled in rhymes.
She expelled verses
as a fountain emits
cool blue shoots of water
from a fat cherub’s
fat white marble lips.
She lived to write.
She wrote to live
as a hummingbird
beats its invisible harlequin wings
to live, and lives to beat them
and sends it vibrating ballad
to pierce the crystal air.
Svetlana adored poetry.
She was, after all
a writer spider.

Now Svetlana’s poetry was
all well and lovely
inside her shiny tiny black head,
but it went unheard.
and for this reason,
Svetlana mourned.
But hark, to her rapturous delight,
one day,
an epiphany broke forth upon
her unsuspecting little head!
Argiope Aurantia, writing-
Um, that is, writer spiders-
as everyone knows,
are called so for the stabilimenta
with which they embroider their webs,
spirals of snowy silk with which
to emblazon artful designs
to alert those clumsy birds,
to attract inquisitive prey.
Huzzah, what better way
to display her precious verses
to the world!
And so she set to working,
weaving her melodious rhymes
across the web she called home
with which she published herself.
And she waited,
to be read.

Fred was a fly.
(Fred was not a writer.)
Fred was content to live out
the few days given him upon the earth
in flying, eating, sleeping, and flying,
as flies do.
And Fred was a lazy fly,
and his clear fleshy paper-thin wings
were barely enough to drag his round
furry black body around.
And Fred never seemed to
much attention to
he was going...

Fred was an unlucky fly.
Fred suddenly found
his fragile furry form
stuck fast!
Caught! Entrapped in a spider's web,
One festooned in white silken verses,
rhymes that heralded
the joys of spring!

Svetlana closed in upon her prey.
(She was a hungry spider.)
She eyed Fred the fly,
with her many eyes,
And Fred in desperation
cried, “Oh my!
What masterful rhymes!
What meticulous rhythm!
What mellifluous verses!
Who writes so wondrously?”

Svetlana blushed.
(She was a humble spider.)
“I wrote it all,” she admitted.
And with that, caught up
in the thrill of notoriety,
Svetlana told her story
to the entrapped insect,
the story of a writer unrecognized,
one with a passion incomparable
to any writer spider before,
a passion with the intensity
of a supernova's scream.
A passion that went unnoticed,
unwelcomed, unappreciated,
until now.

Fred listened respectfully,
relieved to know that his life
would safely remain his,
thanks to his clever
quickness of thought.
“My dear lady,
I feel your pain.
But hark, your words
have been heard and respected.
I dare say I can identify
brilliant work as well as the next fly,
and this is such.
Though personally,
I must admit,
I've always preferred free-form poetry.”

And then Svetlana ate him.
(She was a proud spider.)

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