Internet to Hennens: We Need (Bird) Women

By John Winn

When we update the blog, occasionally we stumble upon something odd or surprising that goes far beyond the usual 419 scams and spam coupons.  Bot sites, eccentric commenters, even bizarre search terms. Dead trees, sad trees, dirty Friday underwear–we’ve seen it all.

But nothing quite like the Bird Women.

No, we’re not being stalked by nymphomaniac orinthologists , and its not viral ad campaign for a Victoria’s Secret marketing campaign.  But we wouldn’t blame you if you got that idea.

The saga began last fall following Megan Robb’s excellent poem “The Siren’s Song”. It’s become one of our most popular posts since then, second only to our masthead and abouts page.  We don’t know what that says about us, but as soon as we clicked ‘publish’ we started to notice an odd trend in our stats page.

As we continued to crank out content, we noticed a significant spike in popularity in the blogosphere.  Not as much as, say, Michael Stipe’s tumblr page, but okay for a start-up literary social network/magazine/website.  Thirty seconds later, we shrugged and went back to writing.  Our obsessive tweeting was paying off somehow–we must be doing something right.


We were getting eyeballs, sure.  But as we took a closer look at our stats, it suddenly dawned on us that our popularity had nothing to do with our prose.  Over a three month period, we received the usual inquiries like ‘Alberto Arza the interview’ ‘Teresa Nash’ ‘Thundaaah!  Review’ and so on.  But also searches for ‘birdwoman’ ‘siren women’ and ‘woman dressed as bird’.  Sadly, Chai and Conversation did not do so well.

Not surprisingly, page hits for The Siren’s Song increased from August 2011 to the present.  But we have to wonder, what are people expecting when they click?  A pouty-lipped model in a bird costume writhing and moaning on a bed?  For Megan to leap out of the screen and whisper sweet nothings in their ear?  Strip to her undies while she recites the Illiad in Latin?

Come to think of it, that’s a good idea.  Then again, maybe not.  She does have standards, after all.

Maybe it’s a case of coincidence, or really good misdirection.  But it’s hard not to imagine what’s going through people’s minds when they click.  Maybe they like our poetry.  Maybe they’re lonely.  Or they really like naked chicks with wings.

Either way, we’re glad someone cares.  So in the spirit of the New Year, we offer an olive branch to our nymphomaniac orinthologist overlords:

 Social Media Coordinator (and managing editor) John Winn is Hennen’s Twitterer in Chief.  In addition to writing for Hennen’s, His work has been featured in A Twist of Noir, Lightning Flash, Racket Magazine, and plenty of other online magazines.  He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.



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