10 REASONS NOT TO DATE AN OCTOPUS
1. Your children will resemble Hindu deities and they
will not be able to fit in elevators. They will
have to be artists.
2. It will bring you back to its reef. You must again
hold your breath as you make love, like you had
to do with your previous two partners.
3. In that vein, you will soon question your sex life:
what do you do with the autonomous limb when it
offers it to you, is it masturbation or necrophilia
if it is still wriggling, etc.
4. At dinner parties you will often find it scowling
at you, its chromatophores throbbing red, for it
will not like how much you talk to other men.
5. Venom does not wash out of sheets, and you will
have to discard the quilt your mother gave you
because it now burns your cheek.
6. Octopi have three hearts and so cannot appreciate
properly mediocre poetry. You will have to write
for the good kind.
7. There will be fights over the morality of aquariums.
You will sit in your car afterward, marveling at
the furious incisions its beak made upon your
wrists and neck. You will be alone.
8. Its parents, over lunch at the Olive Garden, will
not stop venerating their kraken ancestors, who
came to this country (for your information) with
only the detritus of Norwegian ships upon their
9. It will leave Rorschach tests splotched on your
10. You will never be rid of those Rorschach tests.
Chelsea Eckert is a creative writing undergraduate at San Jose State University. Previously, her poem “Nostalgia” has won a James Phelan Literary Award, and her work is forthcoming in Vending Machine Press, Stoneboat and Bird's Thumb.