read today's featured poem for national poetry month, MOON WHEN NOTHING SHINES, by poet Lisa Huffaker! Lisa is the creator of the White Rock Zine Machine, a tiny zine dispenser which you must visit at Deep Vellum Books in Dallas as soon as you can! her most recent project is PhotoRama: Significance Imposed, a collaboration between White Rock Zine Machine, MakeShift Photography, and local poets (including several who have been featured by spiderweb salon this month!), which will result in a new collection of zines and a gallery exhibition at Kettle Art from May 11 - June 3.
Lisa also give us this wonderful creative encouragement & exercise: Make a poetic diagram. Find an image that can represent an idea, an emotion, or an experience. Then create a diagram, but instead of labeling the literal parts of the image, name and locate the various parts of the invisible, abstract reality the image represents. Maybe this diagram will be a finished work. Or maybe you'll want to explore and flesh out the comparison in another piece of writing. Either way, it's pretty illuminating to look down and realize you have a visual map of a metaphor, where you've not only named the pieces of an idea, but put them in relationship with each other.
MOON WHEN NOTHING SHINES
O you holy insomniacs
toiling into early morning’s black
silence – or not toiling, instead
lying awake in iridescent tortures
because of what you envision and cannot
create: here is a blanket
for your bent shoulders, here
is a bowl of broth – I have stewed
my heart’s tough meat
over an all-night fire, nights and nights
with nothing to show but this:
drink it. Be stronger, keep the candle
burning: one of us must
mine the night sky for its jewels
and emerge at dawn, haggard but with a handful
of actual stars. If not my hand
then another’s hand must offer them up
in open daylight, for people who never suffered
glorious visitations, for whom darkness
never sang its nocturnes. For them,
to wound them. To give them
a proper ache.
Lisa Huffaker’s poems have been published in Southwest Review, Poet Lore, Measure, Southern Poetry Review, Mezzo Cammin, Able Muse, One, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She won the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her latest project, White Rock Zine Machine, offers tiny books by Dallas writers and artists, sold in repurposed vending machines. She teaches creative writing in museums, art studios, youth shelters, and libraries, and sings with the Dallas Opera.