Dinner with the Spider Master, A Poem by Chris Russell

I was walking through this house and a spider the size of my hand and with an abdomen as thick as a kielbasa, started walking towards me. It chased me through the house like a dog. A man was standing at the end of the hallway, watching. “Aren’t you going to do something?’ I said. “This is your spider, isn’t it?” “Have you eaten yet?” he said.” “I haven’t, actually. What’s on the menu?” I said. “We have steamed clams and asparagus with Béarnaise,” he said. “Asparagus arranged on a plate reminds me of a skeleton’s hand,” I said. “Of course, there was the time I found a cave out behind the old drive in, and told myself if I went down it far enough I’d end up in another world, one where skeletons walked. I guess I was so scared as a child that any world where death was apparent or inevitable was preferred.” “You were a freak. When is the last time you got a massage?” He said. He was trying to distract me. “Listen, I don’t know what you’re up to, but tell your spider to back off,” I said. He ran over to it and started speaking in tongues to it. I had that feeling. “Can you wiggle your fingers for me?” The doctor said. I was sitting on a table in the doctor’s office with this prostheses attached to me. “Is sticking my hand in the fireplace a no, no?” I said. “No, you can. It might bring some of the feelings back, he said.” “How about a knife? I said. “Knives are good. Just cut through, not at,” he said. “Focus Danielson,” I said. “Be the target,” he said. “My hand looks like a spider wiggling there,” I said. “Are you going to name it?” He said. “The first thing I am going to do when I get home is make the garage door come down on it.” I said. “That’s the spirit,” he said. I was beginning to feel loved. “What if I kick you across the room right now,” I said. “I’d be in your debt,” he said. I kicked him and he toppled back into the computer. He stood up and brushed his pants off. “Like I said, if there’s anything I can do for you,” he said. My luck was changing.

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