Photo credit: Lord Byron
My novel, The Pisces
, is the story of a woman who moves to Venice Beach and falls in romantic obsession with a merman whose tail starts below the D. I wanted to explore love as a drug — the urge to annihilate oneself in euphoria — and nothing embodies that dichotomy like the relationship between human and siren.
But the truth is, I’ve never been that into mermen. Ask me to choose a mythological creature and it’s Pegasus all the way: not to hook up with, just to hang out with. If I were to choose some mythological creatures with whom to have a non-platonic relationship, these would be my top six:
Kronos metal print by Granger.
Remember when Cronus ate all his kids in order to prevent them from becoming more powerful than he was, only to be given an emetic by Zeus to vomit them all up? Call me crazy, but there is something super hot about a total asshole like Cronus rendered uncontrollably vulnerable by illness. This is why puking-Cronus will always be the one for me.
Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse (1982).
One time I hooked up with a woman who had the exact same boobs as me and it kind of freaked me out. I feel like this is what would happen if I hooked up with Circe, the minor goddess of magic, not on a boob level, but personality-wise. For one thing, Circe lives on an island and I live inside my head. Additionally, in The Odyssey
, Circe turns Odysseus’s men into swine, only to turn them back into humans again because she is in love with Odysseus and feels guilty. This is totally something I could see myself doing! I feel like Circe and I would hook up one or two times and then become really good friends who never see each other but text a lot.
The Kraken is a giant-ass squid or octopus who has surfaced everywhere from Iceland to Florida. But if you want to know why the Kraken is one of the most doable of mythological creatures, you need look no further than Hokusai’s woodblock print, “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.”
The Apollo Belvedere.
I’ve had a crush on the God of the Sun ever since I studied Greek mythology in elementary school. He seems like the kind of guy who is just disinterested enough for me to be totally obsessed with him. I see him as a skater boy, ignoring me in the parking lot at 7-11 while I sit on the sidelines drinking Yoo-hoo. He’s also the god of poetry and is probably the type of poet bro who exudes just enough tortured, quiet mystique that you can project a profound depth onto him that definitely isn’t there. Hot!
Heracles bringing Cerberus to Eurystheus.
If a door opens and on the other side of that door is the Hound of Hell waiting to have sex with you, you walk through that door. A book I love that explores lust with a splash of canine is Yoko Tawada’s The Bridegroom Was a Dog
Venus of Willendorf.
The Mother Goddess
There’s a reason why the mother goddess figure appears in basically every culture throughout the history of humankind. Some of us have mommy issues! We need that comfort, that succor! We also need an explanation as to why nature can be such a bitch. But truthfully, I’d just love to be breastfed by a hot MILF.
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is the author of the essay collection So Sad Today
and four poetry collections, including Last Sext
. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica
, and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. She writes the "So Sad Today" column at Vice
, the astrology column for Lenny Letter
, and the "Beauty and Death" column on Elle.com. She lives in Los Angeles. The Pisces
is her most recent book.