By Mike Allen

The hair twining out from the drain

No one lives here with locks that color

The air whistling in through the curtains

No one stands there to hold them closed

The light flaring on in the other room

Nothing lives here that needs to see

The stare boiling white from the mirror

No one stands before it to stare back


Mike Allen wears many creative hats, and at least one of them, tailormade by his wife and partnerincrime Anita, features a large bejeweled spider. Together they run Mythic Delirium Books, an imprint that’s home to the Clockwork Phoenix anthology series and acclaimed fiction books by C.S.E. Cooney, Theodora Goss and Nicole Kornher-Stace. A World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson and Nebula Award finalist, Mike has written several poetry collections; a novel, The Black Fire Concerto; and short story collections UnseamingThe Spider Tapestries and Aftermath of an Industrial Accident (forthcoming 2020). Follow his publishing exploits at, writing adventures at, and all of the above at @mythicdelirium on Twitter.