Mari Ness is not quite as obsessed with myth and fairy tale as her work might suggest. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including Tor.com, Clarkesworld Magazine, Apex Magazine,Daily Science Fiction, and Goblin Fruit. For more, check out her webpage at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at @mari_ness.
The Thirteenth Child
If our thirteenth child is a girl, all her twelve brothers must die, so that she may be very rich, and the kingdom hers and hers alone.
from Household Tales, collected by the Brothers Grimm.
I never knew
their names. Only
in one straight line,
filling the cold grey crypt.
I never wanted
more bones. Only
in my hands,
toys for our plain stone halls.
Oof, this poem–the repetition through the stanzas (until the last one) and the exploration of a single line from the Brothers Grimm just gets me every time I read it. The short lines and repetitive language really serve to bring home the subject of the poem: the loneliness and isolation of the speaker in the wake of her brothers’ murders. I have a real weakness for poems which deal with mythic or fairy tale subjects, so this poem is the jam to my toast. Or something like that.
- “The Restoration of Youth”, Strange Horizons, January 2014
- “Bone Song”, Inkscrawl, March 2014
- “Demands”, Goblin Fruit, Fall 2014
- “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dragon”, Tor.com, April 2015
- “Kore”, Through the Gate, August 2015
She dabbles in writing speculative fiction and poetry, but non-fiction is her bread and butter. She’s known for her coverage of various issues within genre around sexism and harassment, and can be found on Twitter as @eilatan.
With Annalee Flower Horne, she is a co-founder of the intersectional geek blog, The Bias.