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 423,000 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.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Name the Furthest Star

inspired by Danielle Gervasio

I surround artists seeking to know myself
art translates the ephemeral into substance
that one can swallow, decipher, translate
into the emotion of movement

musicians do it with vivacious notes
poets with lines heavy in the metal declaration of purpose
dancers in the movement of skin through space
artists with the touchable, the tactile feeling
of inanimate given life
that might outlast the fading drops of DNA
in slowly rotting flesh falling from bleached bones
instigated from an instant when its parents
ignored the strife of eons
and loved the other without condition

these translators of purpose speak
with the talents I know I don’t possess,
allowing me to ride their wave closer
toward understanding the dichotomy of logic
and impassioned failure
they have the words I wish I could speak
the fingers with which I could pluck the strings
and call down the angels to sing against the silence
the palms which shape stone
and colors into their mind’s eye
of the way things ought to be

I catalogue their brilliances
to show the citizens of the world their potential
and write them in poems so I don’t forget, either

my life is like that:
moments with dates on paper
so that I remember the genius poured from others,
with more lifetimes than I can inhabit, into my hungry skull
it’s a chase for God through the mythology
of footprints that generations now faded to dust
have left us in stories of genetic memory
like the color of eyes of the midwife
that first held you, now hazy in the mists
from which we drew animals in the air

the stories of those who first spoke
echo still in the stories we tell through the details
clouding the archetypes we identify universally
they have gotten more complex
to challenge us to find them still
footsteps lead from those first days
through our mundane struggles to the children ages and ages hence
who will inhabit the stars we will always dream of

artists will forever name the furthest star
the same word as their deepest lover
and strive to reach them both in futility
the artist lives between their lover and the dream
using their body as an instrument to translate them both
into something strangers can feel as electricity in their blood
so that as they lay in the final throes
they can know these days of insignificant moments,
of blind aimless wandering,
of wasted pages and stories,
of unattained dreams,
of lovers’ touches,
of the mistakes and losses that define our struggle,
that somewhere in the jumbled mess
they said, made, bore, or breathed into being
something that touched the pilgrims still journeying
to the stars they will never reach

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