Opalina Salas: Anicca

it's an honor to feature today's poet, Opalina Salas, and her mesmerising piece, Anicca, for national poetry month! Opalina is a poet, zinester, organizer, and leader who's been running in the dallas scene for many years, creating and hosting such series as Poets on X+ and a regular contributor in numerous poetry groups. after you read her beautiful poem Anicca here, check out her piece 불확실성 (Uncertainty) in CITY OF ____________: DISPATCHES FROM 16 DALLAS POETS, along with powerful work from some of our other 2017 national poetry month contributors, including Sean Enfield, Chris George, Joe Milazzo, Paul Koniecki, and Leah Tieger.

Opalina's writing exercise (which can be found in spiderweb's newest zine, Prompt & Circumstance) is this: Try reading your poem aloud as your write and listen to the sounds—if they evoke you to write other words, do it! You will end up with a poem that is rich in soun and pleasing to the ear. Also, when stuck, try re- writing a piece using the opposite meaning for each word in your poem. It's kind of like turning a poem on its head, also if you are super adventurous, start from the bottom of your original poem and write from finish up to beginning.


Skin of resplendent dawn
baked brown as pan
satin leche quemada

Tonaltzintli (tonalseenthlee) gleams

of breathy chimes
delicately balanced
hovering above
hands clasped in Buddhist
aureate prayer
spinning worlds
prayer wheel skimming
poetry drenched
and steeped in guilt’s arms
growing bellies breaking
life revolving nocturnal messages
under blankets of stone
chisel down
break open

this geode
mine for its worth

inside is more

Shimmering light off of
useless angles
inside is more  

ringing tips of tuning fork
rolling tongue pasted words
lost lyrics
bending steel guitar tears, 
on Owl feathered shoulders of pain

Bodhi mine,
shake the misfortune of dust
shake humanity out of slumber
and mistakes
and gold leaf splays tawdry gifts
snakes the tendrils of graying hair

and unbreak those promises

touch the
tawny desert dunes and

run tired fingers thru
as a child who knows not
of grasping gold,
or pain.


Opalina Salas is a poet, a former Oak Cliff bookstore owner, an editor of femme lit zine, Let It Bleed, and creator and host of Poets on X+ reading series held in her beloved home of Oak Cliff TX. She is a regular contributor to The Mad Swirl, and was a featured performer at The Texas Beat Poetry Festival 2012, Forest Fest in Lamesa TX in 2011, and a participant in the first annual New Orleans Poetry Fest of 2016. Her poem was featured in CITY OF ____________: DISPATCHES FROM 16 DALLAS POETS, she has been a performer for OPP: Other People’s Poetry, and has featured at Pandora ’s Box and Arte y Pan Dulce a PoC Art Show. She is a host and co- conspirator for ATTACK OF THE POETS, an annual multi day festival hosting poets from around the US, bridging the gaps between various literary communities far and wide. She has been writing and performing in and around the DFW area for 20 years with her comrade, partner and fellow poet, Carlos Salas, and got her start at the legendary Club Clearview Dallas Poetry Slam.