edited by courtney marie
Today we’re excited to share with you a new poem by one of the most skilled writers and community organizers on the scene in North Texas: Sebastian Páramo! Sebastian has been a part of the ‘web for many years now: sharing his words, plotting behind the scenes, recording poetry, emceeing events and supporting his fellow artists, editing the occasional feature, and filling zines with the madness and wonder of his literary genius. You might remember him as a workshop leader at our Happy Hour Poetry Workshop earlier this year, or perhaps more recently as our resident duende-enthusiast at our showcase last month, Spiderdead! We’re always excited to see what Sebastian will come up with next, because he loves bringing people together around beautiful words just as much as we do.
Besides being a DIY poet-mastermind and the host of several prominent reading series in the area (like the longstanding Pegasus Reading Series in Dallas and the newly-established Burning Plain series in Denton- held monthly at Armadillo Ale Works), Sebastian holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in NYC and is currently working on his PhD at the University of North Texas, where he teaches classes and serves as the managing editor for The American Literary Review. And that’s not all: he’s also the Editor-in-Chief of one of our very favorite literary magazines, The Boiler!
You need to go check out all of these things right after you enjoy this stellar featured poem we have for you today! Whenever Sebastian is part of a project you can bet it will be infused with his signature combination of stoic charm and serious wit. You can find him partying with us on January 12 at Dan’s Silverleaf for our New Year’s Revolution, but for now we’re quite #PLEASED that he chose this poem of his to gift the world today, BLACKOUT.
Deep inside the Great Blackout, it was late;
Nobody could go back, though we learned
to fall in love with the sound of leaking faucets,
our candlelit homes. Over time, we found music
in half empty cups, boiled rice, the splinter of trees
falling to feed the dying flame. In the blue midnight,
everyone appeared the same. Thin & lightless.
We collected moonlight in cups & bathed
in the dark. There was no whiteness to love.
The former aura, the used up sun, became a sudden
memory. We learned by touch & voice by the new black flame.
Some hoped for the light to return & became nomads.
They followed the moon to the sound of waves.
New faces were lit by the embers of sky falling.
Day by diminishing day, flecks of stars still shimmer
pale. They dim & dim, until one can’t help but throw
one last cinder into the sky to ignite a horizon.
It never comes. Others are content to lay by,
what we imagine to be the sea, little waves
teasing us of what’s to come.
Sebastian Hasani Páramo is the son of Mexican immigrants. His writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Iron Horse Literary Review, Southwest Review, Salt Hill, Pleiades, & North American Review. He is the Editor-in-Chief of THE BOILER. He lives in Denton, Texas as a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas, where he is the Managing Editor for American Literary Review. He will party with you, too.
Be sure to check out Spiderweb’s other featured artists here! Interested in sharing your work with the Spiderweb Salon editors? We want to read what you’ve got! Send your good stuff to our submissions page here.