Griselda Castillo: the box

it's the last saturday of national poetry month, but that doesn't mean the poetry is going anywhere. as our formal celebrations come to a close, we encourage everyone who has been following along to get a copy of our Prompt & Circumstance zine and participate in our upcoming summer project! we are also planning a special may event for collaboration and conversation, stay tuned for more info!

today we are thrilled to feature one of our favorite poet friends from Austin! Griselda Castillo is a poet and creative nonfiction writer who visits from time to time to share her work and collaborate with us - today she's contributed a delightfully dark poem for us to enjoy, called the box, and we're very excited to announce that she'll be joining spiderweb salon at the Deep Ellum Lit Hop on June 3, alongside dozens of other fantastic reading groups, collectives, poets, and writers. check out Griselda's work right here, right now and join us then in Dallas for even more literary goodtimes.

And what would a poetry month celebration be without a prompt? Griselda suggests you try writing a Me-to-Me Poem (see the Kermit Meme), wherein you weigh the pros and cons about everyday choices with your alter ego.


the box

i keep it in a small white box
in the closet
of the white room with
the light coming in

inside the black pearl waits
inside a grackle falls
on snow
there's a single domino
or an eyeball long escaped
from the skull
and the black chip
in my manicure

the weight of stolen words
break the traitor's teeth
as they leap from the tongue
that gave them away

vicious vowels corral
broken bones trinkets and stones
into other little boxes
that are also white and sinister

white boxes
like fish bones
or razor blade
swimming up my

i keep shells in my box
nests and hives
abandoned and forgotten
homes and other empties
for your eyes to scold
are in this white box
with the secret
that it holds


Griselda J Castillo is a bilingual poet and creative nonfiction writer from Laredo, Texas. She is the youngest daughter of Mexican immigrants, a first-generation American and explores her bicultural identity through poems and stories. Her work has been featured in Sparkle + Blink, di-verse-city anthology and The Chachalaca Review. She also performs her poetry as part of the live art and jazz collective Five Voices One Brush. Griselda lives and works in Austin.

Griselda Castillo at spiderweb salon's third annual winter formal | photo by Leah Jones | 2016

Griselda Castillo at spiderweb salon's third annual winter formal | photo by Leah Jones | 2016