This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A brief history of the FlagSlam National Poetry Slam Team


December 2000, FlagSlam founded.
First FlagSlam Dynasty
The Founders' Era 


In 2001, 12th National Poetry Slam in Seattle, Wash.:
Grand Slam Champion: Josh Fleming
Nick Fox
Chris Lane
Christopher Fox Graham
Alternate: Eric “A-rek” Matthew Dye
Coach: Andy “War” Wall
After I graduated from Arizona State University and made the FlagSlam team, I moved to Flagstaff in June.



Second FlagSlam Dynasty
Kofonow Era

In 2002, 13th National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis, Minn.:
Grand Slam Champion: Suzy La Follette
Logan Phillips
Andy “War” Hall
Dom Flemons
Alternate: Jarrod Masseud Karimi (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
Coach and alternate: John Raymond Kofonow
I tried out for the FlagSlam team in 2002 but pulled the "1" and got clobbered. I had already been planning the Save the Male Tour with Josh Fleming, so that was my summer instead. 
 First tie at NPS: New York City-Urbana and Detroit

In 2003, 14th National Poetry Slam in Chicago, Ill.:
Grand Slam Champion: Suzy La Follette
Logan Phillips
Cass Hodges
Dom Flemons
Alternate: Julie Hudgens (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
Coach and alternate: John Raymond Kofonow
I was a volunteer bout manager at NPS in 2003.

In 2004: 15th National Poetry Slam in St. Louis, Mo.:
Grand Slam Champion: Christopher Fox Graham
Eric Larson
Logan Phillips
Brent Heffron
Coaches: Mary Guaraldi, and John Raymond Kofonow
First time all four NPS finalist teams were from west of the Mississippi River (Hollywood's Da Poetry Lounge, Denver, Dallas and Berkeley). One of the worst organized NPSes due to the location of venues relative to each other and the venues in question. This was the first NORAZ Poets slam team.


In 2005: 16th National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, N.M.:
Grand Slam Champion: Chris Lane
Logan Phillips
Christopher Fox Graham
Meghan Jones
Aaron Johnson
Coaches: Mary Guaraldi and John Raymond Kofonow
FlagSlam sent a crew of poets and supporters because Albuquerque was so close. I was also legal guardian for my ward, Sarrah Wile. One of the best organized NPSes. All venues were within walking distance of the Hotel Blue. The hotel manager lost his job for what he allowed us to do, but won the Spirit of the Slam Award.This was the secondNORAZ Poets slam team.

In 2006: 17th National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas:
Aaron Johnson
Christopher Fox Graham (kicked off team before the National Poetry Slam)
Meghan Jones (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
Justin “Biskit” Powell
Alternate: A.J. Moyer (Joined team)
Coaches: Greg Nix (quit before the National Poetry Slam) and John Raymond Kofonow (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
This year was a train wreck. Those who know why, know why. I'm glad A.J., Aaron Johnson and Biskit had a good time at NPS, though. This was the third and final NORAZ Poets slam team.
Third FlagSlam Dynasty
Johnson-Phillips Era

In 2007: 18th National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas:
Grand Slam Champion: Joseph Nieves
Aaron Johnson
Troy Thurman
J.J. Valentine
Last year Individual Poetry Slam Championships were held at NPS. They would be held at a separate event, the Individual World Poetry Slam starting in 2008.

Fourth FlagSlam Dynasty
Rebirth Era (Cartier-Brown-O'Brien, notable for the Lost Boys and the "Flagstaff cadence")

In 2008: 19th National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wis.:
Grand Slam Champion: Frank O'Brien
Ryan Brown
John Cartier
Jessica Guadarrama
Alternate: Kami Henderson
Coach: Dana Sakowicz


In 2009: 20th National Poetry Slam in West Palm Beach, FL.
Grand Slam Champion: Frank O'Brien
Ryan Brown
John Cartier
Andrew “Antranormus” Wanner
Jessica Guadarrama
Coach: Dana Sakowicz

Fifth FlagSlam Dynasty
Brown Era
In 2010: 21st National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, Minn:
Grand Slam Champion: Ryan Brown
Brian Towne
Johnny P (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
RahMahMercy (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
Frank O'Brien (Joined team in Johnny P's slot)
Christopher Fox Graham (Joined team in RahMahMercy's slot)
Alternate: Christopher Harbster (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
I was going to be a volunteer bout manager at NPS in 2010, but wound up on the team.

In 2011: 22nd National Poetry Slam in Cambridge and Boston, Mass.:
Grand Slam Champion: Shaun “nodalone” Srivastava
Maple Dewleaf
Taylor Marie “Tay” Kayonnie-Ehrlich
Christopher Harbster (quit before the National Poetry Slam)
Alternate: Tyler “Valence” Sirvinskas (Joined team)
I was a volunteer venue manager at NPS in 2011. 
In 2012: 23rd National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C.:
Grand Slam Champion: Christopher Fox Graham
Ryan Brown
Tara Pollock (tied)
Shaun “nodalone” Srivastava (tied)
Alternate: Jackson Morris (Joined team)

Sixth FlagSlam Dynasty
Quinonez Era

In 2013: 24th National Poetry Slam in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville, Mass.:
Grand Slam Champion: Christopher Fox Graham
Jackson Morris
Vincent Simone
Verbal Kensington (opted out to give Gabbi Jue her slot and compete for the Sedona National Poetry Slam Team)
Alternate: Austin Reeves (Joined team)
2nd alternate: Gabbi Jue (Joined team)


In 2014: 25th National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif.:
Grand Slam Champion: Ryan Smalley
Josh Wiss
Josh Floyd
Christopher Fox Graham
Alternate: Claire Pearson (Joined team)
Coach: John Quinonez
A caravan headed from Flagstaff: The Yorktown, The Truth Bomber and The Majin Buu. On the first night in Oakland, The Yorktown was broken into and thieves stole computers and clothes from John Quinonez, Christopher Fox Graham and Ryan Smalley but we still had an awesome time.

In 2015: 26th National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif.:
Grand Slam Champion: Ryan Smalley
Christopher Fox Graham 
Gabbi Jue
Vincent Vega (Moved to Japan prior to NPS)
Alternate: Claire Pearson (Joined team)
Coach: John Quinonez
 Due to the untimely death of regular FlagSlam poet Lauren Delores Spencer in a car accident, the FlagSlam donated money to assist with funeral expenses. FlagSlam was late paying for registration and instead was placed on the waiting list, but never made it to the regular rotation. Team members went and volunteered and still had an awesome time. 

Seventh FlagSlam Dynasty
Quorum of Five Era

In 2016: 27th National Poetry Slam in Decatur, Ga.
Grand Slam Champion: Ryan Smalley
Gabbi Jue
Claire Pearson
Christopher Fox Graham 
Alternate: Kim Possible, aka Kim Jarchow, (Joined team)
Coach: John Quinonez
John Quinonez officially stepped down as slammaster at the conclusion of the slam, handing the reins of slammastership to a Quorum of Five: Gabbi Jue, Rowie Shebala, Wil Williams, Claire Pearson and Kim Jarchow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Canadian slam poet Mona Faith Mousa headlines the Sedona Poetry Slam on March 12 (CFG's birthday)

Mona Faith Mousa
Canadian slam poet Mona Faith Mousa headlines the Sedona Poetry Slam on March 12. Poets are invited to compete at the fourth slam of the 2015-16 season, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3 in West Sedona.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. Tickets are $12. Call Mary D. Fisher Theatre at 282-1177 or visit the Sedona International Film Festival website.

Contact host Christopher Fox Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam.

Graham will also be celebrating his birthday on March 12, which he shares with writers Jack Kerouac, Dave Eggers, Carl Hiaasen, Naomi Shihab Nye and Gabriele D'Annunzio.

 

Mona Faith Mousa


Inspired by several Canadian and American slam poets, Mousa found herself in an addictive relationship with the written and spoken word. At 17 she hit the stage for the first time at Toronto’s well-known annual Open Minds Respect events. Nine year later Mousahas been on the road almost nonstop, having recently come off her 2015 Summer tour schedule to the southern United States, and Hawaii.

Mona Faith Mousa
Over the past 9 years Mousa’s mission has been to work to empower young adults engaging them in discussion. The mission is about promoting real love, love as an action that we commit to unconditionally. This love is about safe spaces no matter one's religion, social class, gender or sexual orientation. The mission is education & tolerance, no exceptions. It’s about a queer-positive and body-positive state of mind. The mission is mental health awareness, and letting people know that rescue is possible, that everyone's story is important . It’s helping turn scars into stories.
Mousa's charm and passion drive her and she is ready to take North America by storm, as one of Canada's most promising, up and coming performance poets.

Mona Faith Mousa
“[Mona Faith Mousa] has a maturity in her voice beyond her years,” wrote Will McGuirk, of Oshawa This Week, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. “That is due to her openness to experience of a deeper order. Poetry arises from activity, sure, but more importantly from connectivity. Poems can be found in subdivisions, on courts, in driveways.

“One needs only the right equipment to catch them, equipment Mona has in ample amounts. She will show you where to look among the strip malls and the pylons. There are heroes in the suburbs.

“Mona is an awesome up-and-coming performance poet,” said Brendan McLeod, of The Fugitives, a spoken word troupe based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. “She's funny, charming, thoughtful and even a bit audacious. I heartily support her work as an emerging Canadian spoken word artist.”

 

What is Poetry Slam?


Host Christopher Fox Graham will also be celebrating
his birthday on Saturday,  March 12, which he shares
with writers Jack Kerouac, Dave Eggers, Carl Hiaasen,
Naomi Shihab Nye and Gabriele D'Annunzio.
Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. While many people may think of poetry as dull and laborious, a poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School’s Young Voices Be Heard slam group.

To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004-06, 2010, 2012-15. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

 

2015-16 Sedona Poetry Slam Schedule


The slam is the fourth of the 2015-16 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s fifth National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city and the Verde Valley at the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, Ga., in August. The first three poetry slams took place Oct. 10, Jan. 2 and Feb. 6 slam. Future dates include:
  • Saturday, April 9, featuring Ryan Brown
  • Saturday, May 7
  • Saturday, May 28 Grand Slam
The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on May 28, to determine the team. The poets who make the team on May 28 to represent Sedona will share the stage at the week-long National Poetry Slam with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Sedona sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif.

Founded in Chicago in 1984 by construction worker Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"The Crowd's Choice" by Jesse Parent



Yeshua bar-Abba, (Jesus Barabbas, a Hellenization of the Aramaic בר אבא) is a figure mentioned in the accounts of the Passion of Christ, in which he is an insurrectionist whom Pontius Pilate freed at the Passover feast in Jerusalem, instead of releasing Yeshua of Nazareth, better known as Jesus.

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If you loved this poem, check out Javon Johnson: http://bit.ly/1xkYEPp
Performing during prelims at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam.

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Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry's audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Space Oddity" by David Bowie, performed by Canadian astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield



A revised of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

Composition: “SPACE ODDITY”
Written by David Bowie
Published by Onward Music Limited

(Note: This video cannot be reproduced and is licensed for online music use only.)

With thanks to Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for all their hard work.

Captioning kindly provided by CHS (www.chs.ca)

From the album “Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can.” Available everywhere now.
CD/LP: http://www.smarturl.it/SpaceSessionsPhys
Download: http://www.smarturl.it/SpaceSessionsDL
Stream: http://www.smarturl.it/SpaceSesionsStrm

Monday, November 30, 2015

Synthespians. Cause nerds are awesome

Robots, cyborgs, holograms and computers. Oh my. From Star Wars, to Robocop to The Jetsons; 66 famous synthetic characters from your favorite TV shows and movies. By Scott Park.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On the 600th aniversary of the Battle of Agincourt

St Crispin's Day Speech from William Shakespeare's "Henry V, Act IV Scene iii 18–67"
at the Battle of Agincourt, on St. Crispin's Day, Oct. 25, 1415

Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work today!

KING HENRY V. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin, Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
"Morning of the Battle of Agincourt, 25th October 1415,"
painted by Sir John Gilbert 1884
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin's day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

During the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, Henry V, the young king of England, leads his forces to victory at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France.
Two months before, Henry had crossed the English Channel with 11,000 men and laid siege to Harfleur in Normandy. After five weeks the town surrendered, but Henry lost half his men to disease and battle casualties. He decided to march his army northeast to Calais, where he would meet the English fleet and return to England. At Agincourt, however, a vast French army of 20,000 men stood in his path, greatly outnumbering the exhausted English archers, knights, and men-at-arms.
The battlefield lay on 1,000 yards of open ground between two woods, which prevented large-scale maneuvers and thus worked to Henry’s advantage. At 11 a.m. on October 25, the battle commenced. The English stood their ground as French knights, weighed down by their heavy armor, began a slow advance across the muddy battlefield. The French were met by a furious bombardment of artillery from the English archers, who wielded innovative longbows with a range of 250 yards. French cavalrymen tried and failed to overwhelm the English positions, but the archers were protected by a line of pointed stakes. As more and more French knights made their way onto the crowded battlefield, their mobility decreased further, and some lacked even the room to raise their arms and strike a blow. At this point, Henry ordered his lightly equipped archers to rush forward with swords and axes, and the unencumbered Englishmen massacred the French.
Almost 6,000 Frenchmen lost their lives during the Battle of Agincourt, while English deaths amounted to just over 400. With odds greater than three to one, Henry had won one of the great victories of military history. After further conquests in France, Henry V was recognized in 1420 as heir to the French throne and the regent of France. He was at the height of his powers but died just two years later of camp fever near Paris.

The Kingdom of France
French casualties range from 7,000 to 10,000 (mostly killed) and about 1,500 noble prisoners. French notable casualties:

Leading officers:
Charles I d'Albret's arms
  •     Charles I d'Albret, Count of Dreux, the Constable of France
  •     Jacques de Châtillon, Lord of Dampierre, the Admiral of France
  •     David de Rambures, the Grand Master of Crossbowmen
  •     Guichard Dauphin, Master of the Royal Household

Three dukes:
  •     Antoine of Burgundy, Duke of Brabant and Limburg, and consort Duke of Luxembourg (a brother of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy)
  •     John I, Duke of Alençon-Perche, the second-in-command after d'Albret.
  •     Edward III, Duke of Bar (along with his brother and nephew)

Seven counts (eight with d'Albret):
  •     Philip of Burgundy, Count of Nevers and Rethel (another brother of John the Fearless)
  •     Frederick of Lorraine, Count of Vaudémont (brother of Charles II, Duke of Lorraine)
  •     Robert of Bar, Count of Marle and Soissons (nephew of Edward III, Duke of Bar).
  •     John VI, Count of Roucy
  •     Waleran III of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny and Saint-Pol (called "Count of Fauqemberg" in the chronicles)
  •     Edward II, Count of Grandpré
  •     Henry II, Count of Blâmont

Some 90 bannerets and others, including:
  •     Jean de Montaigu, Archbishop of Sens
  •     John of Bar, Lord of Puisaye (brother of Edward III of Bar)
  •     Jean I de Croÿ, Lord of Croÿ-d'Araines and two of his sons, John and Archambaud
  •     Jean de Béthune, Lord of Marueil
  •     Gallois de Fougières, Provost Marshal, commemorated as the first French gendarme to lose his life in battle.

Among the circa 1,500 prisoners taken by the English, were the following French notables:
  •     Jean Le Maingre ("Boucicaut"), the Marshal of France.
  •     Charles of Artois (Count of Eu), the French Lieutenant of Normandy and Guyenne.
  •     John of Bourbon (Duke of Bourbon-Auvergne-Forez), probably the greatest lord of southern France
  •     Charles of Orleans (Duke of Orleans-Blois-Valois), a great lord of central France, titular head of the "Armagnac" party. (his brother, John of Orleans (Count of Angoulême-Périgord), another great lord, had been in English captivity since 1412).
  •     Louis de Bourbon (Count of Vendôme)
  •     Arthur de Richemont, brother of John VI, Duke of Brittany, step-brother of Henry V (he was the son of Joan of Navarre, dowager-queen of England).

The Kingdom of England

King Henry V's arms
At least 112 dead, unknown wounded. English notable casualties:
  •     Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York
  •     Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk
  •     Dafydd Gam (Davy Gam) Welsh hero who reputedly saved Henry V's life at Agincourt
  •     Jan I van Brederode


Saturday, October 24, 2015

The largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy


This image, captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy — otherwise known as M31.

This is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.

It is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc stretching across over 40,000 light-years.

This image is too large to be easily displayed at full resolution and is best appreciated using the zoom tool.

Credit:
NASAESA, J. Dalcanton (University of Washington, USA), B. F. Williams (University of Washington, USA), L. C. Johnson (University of Washington, USA), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler.

Music is 'Koda - The Last Stand' from Silk Music...
Listen: http://bit.ly/1ySODuV
Download: http://bit.ly/1CKxuE3
More from Silk Music: http://bit.ly/1ySE7p7

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Thrift Shop" by Lindsey Stirling & Tyler Ward (a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Cover)




Published on Jan 15, 2013
Download this song on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/thr...

This collab was so much fun to do. Tyler Ward is an amazing producer, singer, and he is so much fun to work with. Everything he does is amazing so you have to go check out his CHANNEL and SUBSCRIBE.
http://www.youtube.com/user/TylerWard...

We were not even planning on doing this song. We actually just went shopping at a thrift store for another project and we had so much fun that we decided we had to cover this. 2 days later the song and the video were done. Anyhow, Tyler and I have some other projects that will be coming out soon.

Be Tyler's friend too:
http://www.facebook.com/TylerWardMusic
https://twitter.com/TylerWardMusic

Follow me in all these cool places... if you want:)
https://www.facebook.com/lindseystirl...
https://twitter.com/LindseyStirling
http://www.lindseystirling.com/

Mobile App:
http://mobileroadie.com/apps/lindseyapp

Sheet Music:
http://lindseystirling.mybigcommerce....

Merchandise:
http://www.shopbenchmark.com/lindseys...

Tour dates/tickets:
http://www.lindseystirling.com/tour/
Tour Facebook app:
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Check out my "Behind the Scenes" channel:
http://www.youtube.com/lindseytime

Sign up for my super-cool newsletter here ;)
http://lindseystirling.fanbridge.com/

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Poets Love Stars

Gaze skyward and select a star
name it secretly,
the same name as the lover
you’ve longed to touch
if the circumstances of circumstances
loosed their vicious, tight grip
on the ribbon of choices that lead you here
and you could sail to them
like Peter Pan or Superman

now, pretend that this moment
is the last one worth holding
the flotsam floating
from the sinking ship of time

imagine as your vision dims and fades
as your body decays into dust
eternity will be you staring in blissful wonder
at one last image embossed forever
on the blackboard of your eyelids
in the abandoned elementary school of your life
time will stumble forward for living things,
but for you
at the moment your ghost
takes off its bodysuit
you’ll hang on this thumbprint of the world
no sinful heaven,
no sinless hell,
no ponderous purgatory
just one pure moment till the end of the end ends finally

pretend this is that moment
and that lover’s name
is the last one to echo through memory
kaleidoscoping all the dots and dates of your history
drawing a final picture of who
you always wished you were

this is that moment

I am pretending this moment, too
the way your name wraps around my frame like a blanket
thick with the smell of sex and ’80s punk rock

you hold a forever passport to my dreams
irrevocable despite your embargo of time
or the miles between our car crash collisions
that slam our bodies into each other
with evening newscast picture perfection

I’ll warn you now
that this poem lacks mathematical computations
calculating distances of our heartbeats
I won’t bore you with algorithms and complex probability equations
to explain why I love you

I'll warn you know that in daylight, I can’t gaze skyward
because you named all the clouds in my eye-scape
I try to repeat them like the 99 names of Allah
and somehow found YHWH was trying
to pronounce my name correctly

the last time I traveled the world
you asked me to bring you clouds and sunsets
but photographs lack depth
stories can’t change fast enough
poetry fails to articulate color
so I was doomed to fail you
you knew that before I left
but gave me a quest anyway
to test my sincerity
so all I have are the stars

I’ll warn you now
that this poem lacks ambiguity
I will not spend stanza after stanza
elucidating all your curves
without naming you as the owner
you will not be able,
in ages and ages hence
to claim this poem is for another lover
unless her name is Rebecca, too

now,
I have broken the oldest taboo of
all poets:
never name the girl
because the audience suddenly
gives the subject form and fixture
no longer is she vapor and ether
no longer a lover of theirs
no longer possibly them
strangers can bump into on the street
and say they already know her as the reason
poets love stars

I'll warn you now
in the space between midnight and dawn
I long to find you have taken
the Normandy beach of my doorframe
outflanked my defenders
slaughtered the POWs
and threaten occupation;
we promise no resistance
if you swear immediate annexation
strip me bare
and claim these lands as yours
you’ll find a nation of willing collaborators kiss me tiger stripes
transform my carcass into a buffet
eat of my body, broken for you
the bruises you inflicted have faded
retreated down to my bones
though in dreams,
they rise again to the surface
marking me like tattoos

I'll warn you now
that sitting next to you
for the first time in months
starring at the stars
I’m resisting the urge to lean over and kiss you
but we’re beyond that
better than that

children have those urges
and can’t keep their hands to themselves
but you and I have these stars:
but I do confess
my forever moment shares your name
I love not because I need to
but because I need you

Saturday, September 19, 2015

"Pirates" by Justin Lamb, a poem coinciding with International Talk Like a Pirate Day


"Pirates" by Justin Lamb
Writing and performance by Justin Lamb
Video directed, shot and edited by Jonathan Evans

Justin Lamb is an educator, writer and a 2013 National Poetry Slam champion. A two-time Slam New Orleans Grand Slam Champion, Justin has represented New Orleans at regional and national competitions for the last four years as member of the nationally acclaimed Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO). He is also the author of a live performance poetry album titled However It Turns Out Is Perfect. If you would like to enlist Justin to host a workshop or perform at a venue near you, you can contact him at: justin.a.lamb [a] gmail.com.

For more information, visit his website justinpoet.com.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sedona Poetry Slam on Oct. 10 features Patrick Joseph and The Temple of Echoes

Poets are invited to compete at the first Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2015-16 season, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3 in West Sedona.

All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. Tickets are $12. Call Mary D. Fisher Theatre at 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org. Contact ChristopGraham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam.

Patrick Joseph and The Temple of Echoes will perform at the first Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2015-16 season on Oct. 10.
Patrick is an internationally touring poet and executive director of the spoken word and film making education nonprofit
Digital Storytellers.Carrie Jean has just blown onto the San Francisco Bay Area vocal scene sitting in with various bands
in San Fransisco. The couple just got engaged on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Featuring between rounds will the by the Patrick Joseph and The Temple of Echoes, a group that combines spoken word poetry with drum and bass/trip-hop, dubstep and live vocals. With music composed by Daniel Blumenfeld, vocals performed by Cheyane House and Carrie Jean, Temple of Echoes brings forth a high speed atmosphere of all around merry making. Innovating a fierce fusion of multiple strands of expression this project is intended to push poetry into a space of movement in both body and mind.

Patrick Joseph Ohslund is an internationally touring poet and executive director of the spoken word and film making education nonprofit Digital Storytellers. His credits include opening for The Wailers, featuring at the Guatemala City Poetry Slam, touring through most of the United States featuring and spotlighting at such venues as The Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City, the Mercury Poetry Cafe in Denver and Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood, Calif. When not getting lost in new places he leads weekly writing workshops in Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco. His poetry fluctuates between gusto driven lightning, light-hearted mad cap jubilee and carriage of personal testimony.

Carrie Jean has just blown onto the San Francisco Bay Area vocal scene sitting in with various bands in San Fransisco. Her singing style can be described as gusts of moonlit clouds with a soprano sweet like morning porch lemonade. She enjoys performing bluesy ballads and folksy dance tunes or anything that threads nostalgia, ether and the earth.

What is Poetry Slam?


Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. While many people may think of poetry as dull and laborious, a poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School’s Young Voices Be Heard slam group.

To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009.

2015-16 Sedona Poetry Slam Schedule

The slam is the first of the 2015-16 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s fifth National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, Ga., in August.


  • Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Saturday, Jan. 2
  • Saturday, Feb. 6
  • Saturday, March 12, Graham's birthday
  • Saturday, April 9
  • Saturday, May 7
  • Saturday, May 28 Grand Slam

The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on May 28, to determine the team. The poets who make the team on May 28 to represent Sedona will share the stage at the week-long National Poetry Slam with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe. Sedona sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third and fourth to Oakland, Calif.

Founded in Chicago in 1984 by construction worker Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Dear Pluto" by Christopher Fox Graham, celebrating NASA's new photos of Pluto

With the new photos of Pluto released by NASA's New Horizons probe today, it seemed apropos to republish this poem. When New Horizons left Earth in January 2006, it was still the ninth planet from the Sun. By August 2006, it was reclassified a dwarf planet.

Dear Pluto
By Christopher Fox Graham

To the planet formerly known as Pluto,

Though we will never meet
I think I know you

I am a speck of organic matter
standing on the surface of your sister
my people and I
are converted from ice and dust
electrified into existence
by the mere circumstances
of your sister Earth and nephew Moon
dancing with tide pools
when they were still in their infancy
mere molecules slammed together
and held onto each other in strings
which took billions of years
to mistake themselves in their reproduction
to form this all-too-young boy
sending you this letter
forgive my impetuousness, dear Pluto
but compared to you,
I only have a second
before this organic matter caves in on itself
becomes dust and water to form something new
all I have is my voice
and I beg you to listen
because although we will never meet
I think I know you

I’m not sure if you will receive this letter
In the time it takes to reach you,
I could bounce between here and the sun 16 times
measured on your timescale
my country is not even a year old yet

You’re farther away from the sun
than any of your siblings
and while the rest of those planets circulate in lockstep
in the same elliptical orbit
yours is full of highs and lows
as you rise above the plane
and drop beneath it
because you’re either bipolar
of just refuse to conform
be glad you’ve been able to do it so long
here, those who are different
either by choice or accident
wind up getting bullied, brutalized or crucified
and while I could explain what those words mean
let’s hope that by the time one of us stands on your surface
we’ve forgotten what they mean, too

At Lowell Observatory in the hills overlooking Flagstaff
astronomer Clyde Tombaugh picked you out from the black
he watched you wander at the edge of the solar system
and noted how you keep your distance
from everyone else like you

Charon and Pluto
I know what it feels like to be alone, too
there are times when people here
believe the sun is so far away they don’t feel warm anymore
and they stare out into the black
and wonder what’s like to just let go
I’m glad you’ve stayed with us, dear Pluto
you show us that even when the universe is terrifying cold
there’s some light to hold on to
some reason to keep moving
and even out there you and your moon Charon
prove you can find love anywhere

since we began to worship stars
we have followed your siblings
the rocky worlds, the gas giants
to us, if they were bigger than an asteroid or moon
and weren’t furnaces like the sun,
they were a planet
deserving the name of a god
an astrological house
and a certain amount of inexplicable reverence

you were nine children of a yellow sun
on the rural edge of the galaxy

but now because your size doesn’t fit new rules
the International Astronomical Union on my world
has decided you are no longer a planet
you don’t meet the qualifications anymore
you no longer govern an astrological house
they took you away from you were to us

because some ink on paper said you didn’t matter anymore
they put you a box labeled “dwarf planets” or “Plutoids”
only to be ostracized from your brothers and sisters
by faceless strangers at the stroke of pen

here, we label people too,
segregate them into boxes
based on the color of their skins
or which one of those gods they called out to while dying
or whether they love someone with the same or different parts
or in what way they their throats make noises to communicate
or even by where they were born
as if point of origin means anything
on a planet spinning 1,600 kilometers per second,
where specks like me have wandered to every part of it
tell me, dear Pluto
can you see the borders of our nations from out there?
it seems that’s all we can see down here sometimes
can you tell us apart?
if we one day reach you
dig our fingers into your dirt
would you care about what language we used
to tell each other how beautiful the moment was?

Dear Pluto,
I know what it feels like to be small
I’m still a little boy, too
playing grown-up games
wondering what happens
when there’s nothing left to orbit anymore

Though we will never meet
you don’t have to answer this letter if it ever reaches you
but I think you know me,
I am a tiny voice on your sister Earth
and you are Pluto, the ninth planet of the sun

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Magicks Contained Beneath the Skin

Some magicks are best contained beneath the skin
while others should be loosed to the world,
unrestrained in an unyielding fury of kaleidoscopic colors
bedecked in cat ears or fox tails or deer antlers
a child’s wonder on their tongues and bellies full of fires
some are still the unpasteurized joy of days gone past
all tiger-teeth, shark-fang wildness of youth in its hooligan infancy
dancing in the moonlight of playing in a sealess playa
dreaming of cars turn mutant when swallowed in the dreams of artists
like those beneath her eyelids

Photo by David Schnack
do not fret the days when stars can still be counted as we once did
skipping digits while applicable or when unnecessary
knowing the final number was reachable
and always the same in the this county or the old

as the decades churn old histories into misremembered mysteries
of what-whens and who-hows Seuss would have created had he the lexicon
futures remain unwritten, though envisioned by madmen young boys never listen to,
coaxial lifespans stretch into the undreamed ether threading parallels when the geometry is right
yet the soft hands holding cracked hearts bend outward to find horizons
the foolish forgotten with half-bitten tongues wish for the best days
as yet-to-bes yet-to-comes rather than as what-may-have beens

and as the cycle of stars circles round a child-sun playing marbles in the dark,
on one, unremarkable in its ordinariness,
dances a spirit in tutus and feathers
Saturning her hips in hoops
marking one more checkbox of numbered years
toward days-to-comes
and soon-to-bes
and not-yet-nows
preparing smiles for the nightwandering desert dreams to sail in on the breeze
to sleep soundly until the next dawn asks her
how her sun rises

Sunday, June 21, 2015

"To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter" by Jesse Parent


 "To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter" by Jesse Parent. Remember to wait for the addendum.Thanks to The Huffington Post, this video went viral last year.



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Jesse Parent, performing during the Coaches Slam at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

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Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry's audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Friend Zone" by Dylan Garity




"Friend Zone" by Dylan Garity, performed May 6, 2013

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Dylan Garity, performing in the 3rd round of the Saint Paul Grand Slam Poetry Slam on May 6. Buy his book at the Button Shop: http://buttonpoetry.com/product/blueprints/

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Three powerful Tucson poets feature at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 2

Poets are invited to compete at the seventh Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2014-15 season, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3 in West Sedona.

Maya Asher is one of three featured poets who will perform at the Sedona Poetry Slam on
Saturday, May 2, along with
Mickey Ran and Laura Lacanette, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre,
2030 W. SR 89A
, in West Sedona.
All three poets are veterans of the Tucson slam
poetry scene.
There will be three featured poets between rounds, Mickey Ran, Laura Lacanette and Maya Asher, three of the most powerful performance poets from Tucson, all of whom have competed at the national level.

Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. While many people may think of poetry as dull and laborious, a poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Poets in the Sedona Poetry Slam come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University, and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School’s Young Voices Be Heard slam group.

Laura Lacanette is one of three featured poets who will perform at the Sedona Poetry Slam on
Saturday, May 2, along with
Mickey Ran and Maya Asher, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W.
SR 89A
, in West Sedona
. All three poets are veterans of the Tucson slam poetry scene.
All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. The prize is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets will be judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.

Maya Asher is a poet and therapist, in that order. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, a Bachelor of Science in special education and rehabilitation, and Master of Arts in eehabilitation counseling from the University of Arizona. She is a licensed professional counselor. Asher is a published poet, performance artist, teaching artist, and arts organizer. She has performed poetry at national competitions across the U.S. since 2005. She co-founded the longest running poetry slam in Tucson, Words on Fire, in 2004. She is the facilitator of Poetry and Healing for Spoken Futures and staff member for Tucson Youth Poetry Slam. The craft of writing and the art of performance have taught her about the art of living fully and the craft of creating change.

Mickey Ran is one of three featured poets who will perform at the Sedona Poetry
Slam on Saturday, May 2, along with
Laura Lacanette and Maya Asher, at the
Mary D.
Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, in West Sedona. All three poets are
veterans of the Tucson slam poetry scene.
Laura Lacanette is an aspiring adult. She competed with the Tucson Ocotillo team in 2009 and 2010 at the National Poetry Slam. She is a feminist, poet, gamer, has a degree in engineering, and likes to make up songs on the ukulele about her dog. She loves logic puzzles, pirates and waffle cones. Her favorite Care Bear is Love-a-Lot.

Mickey Ran is a poet, feminist, warrior, teacher, and community builder who has lived and loved in Tucson since 2005. Her mission in life is to foster authentic conversations of equality and empathy among all types of people. She loves consensual hugs, so don't be shy and come say "Hi."

Poets Laura Lacanette, Maya Asher and Mickey Ran, left to right,
will perform at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, May 2
, at
the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A
, in West Sedona.

All three poets are veterans of the Tucson slam poetry scene.
Asher, Lacanette and Ran were members of the 2010 Ocotillo Poetry Slam Team from Tuscon that competed in the Group Piece Finals at the 2010 National Poetry Slam in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Sedona Poetry Slam will be hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on nine FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Graham has hosted the Sedona Poetry Slam since 2009. Contact Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam.

Tickets are $12. Call Mary D. Fisher Theatre at 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The slam is the seventh of the 2014-15 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s fourth National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, Calif., in August. There are seven slams in the regular season, six in Sedona and one in Clarkdale. The final Grand Poetry Slam takes place on June 6, to determine the team. The May 2 slam is the final "open slam" of the season and thus the last chance for poets to compete and earn a berth in the Grand Poetry Slam.

The poets who made the team on June 6 to represent Sedona will share the stage at the National Poetry Slam with 350 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe, pouring out their words in a week-long explosion of expression. Sedona sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 NPS in Charlotte, N.C., its second to the 2013 NPS in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and its third to Oakland, Calif., in August.

Founded in Chicago in 1984 by construction worker Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances. Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe.