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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Airborne

Airborne
for Daniela

as the girl’s voice
on the other end of the phone line
seduces me
like some remembered childhood dream
come to the forefront
by the smell of rain
the second hand on my watch moves
slower…,
slower…,
slower…,
stop –

until time halts the countdown to infinity
and listens to the raw power
in her small voice
that hits me
like 10,000 thunderstorms spinning themselves
into a single cyclone
to wipe out a hilltop trailer park in Kansas

she has a beauty in her smile
to launch a thousand ships
and an intensity in her tears
to sink the entire fleet on its way home
I can feel lightning beneath my skin
when her hands brush against me
and hurricane tsunamis
rip through my veins when she laughs

she is the Perfect Storm
condensed from air
into 120 pounds of a swimmer’s body
and she is every storm god
wrapped in 66 inches of a girl’s flesh
and because I know her
I love her
and I am terrified
because with her poetry,
her words,
her voice,
she could cascade the world into its final oblivion
or save it all
with just a whisper
and she will change us
because it’s just a matter of time
until she learns that nothing
can hold her down
except the weight of her own wings
until I can teach her to fly
and she breaks the bonds of earth
to touch the face of god
and I can only hope
that she’ll still want to hold my hand
when she finds that her words
will lift her higher than I ever could
even in dreams
because those of us who bare our souls
on a stage,
behind a mic,
on a page,
or on a canvas,
are artists,
but this girl,
who lives and breathes poetry like air,
she is art
and her only limitation is how high
she wants to fly

I can already hear her wings
beginning to beat
in perfect iambic pentameter
and the echoes reverberate
into flawless 17-syllable haikus
but she’s not the angel I believe her to be
and if she had a halo
she’d throw it from her head
faster than god could blink
because pedestals steal humanity
and she knows that she’s just a girl
whose words give her wings
lifting her higher and higher
and she’ll change the world
when she learns to control her storms and winds
and starts
to fly

Copyright 2005 © Christopher Fox Graham

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ray Lynn Bilbray obituary

Ray Lynn Bilbray

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005

Ray Lynn Bilbray, 11, a resident of Sedona, died Jan. 22.

Born in Kingman on May 14, 1993, Ray Lynne attended West Sedona Elementary School and was a member of the Sedona branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Arizona.

Ray Lynne is survived by her mother, Gail Brigham, of Sedona; and her father, Barry Bilbray, of Laughlin, Nev.

A funeral service took place at Westcott Funeral Home in Cottonwood on Saturday, Jan. 29.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Ray Lynn Bilbray Memorial Fund at the National Bank of Arizona.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Mikel Weisser biography

mikel weisser is a husband, father, teacher, artist, writer and perpetual student and at age 45, will still not capitalize his own name. A native Texan (explaining his oversize personality), weisser lived in Springfield, Ill. (home of such famous poets as Vachel Lindsay and John Knoepfle) for 15 years and turned a life long obsession with writing into an actual starving artist career: self publishing 4 books in 4 years, editing the local college journal, presenting 4 literary criticism papers at national conferences and careening through a 6 year stint as a political satirist for the underground zine scene before finally earning some cash and reputation as a freelancer for the Springfield arts and entertainment weekly Illinois Times.

Along the way he won the 1993 and 2000 Poets and Writers Literary Forum SlamJams (the only two he entered), earned a Master of Arts from the University of Illinois at Springfield and did most every kind of job from plumber to carnie to health food co-op manager to homeless shelter administrator just to keep his family fed. In 2001 weisser moved to Bullhead City as an 8th grade social studies teacher, a position he absolutely loves, but this year, 2004, weisser also became the poetry instructor for the Bullhead campus of Mohave Community College, released two more poetry collections, a simple calendar and Verb*I*Age, and returned to his writer-y roots with a vengeance as a political columnist and freelance journalist. Now, to raise interest in poetry in Bullhead City, weisser has founded the Live Poets Society West, a non-profit non-organization dedicated to preserving the works of earlier poets and promoting new writers. Currently a grad student with NAU and mikel should earn an M Ed in secondary social studies/writing instruction this fall, but he is going to take till spring just to be perverse. Some of his poetry can be found in the poetry pages of his Web site.

Sunday, January 2, 2005

We Will Resist You, America the Destroyer

America, the absent-minded lover
who forgets your name in the ambivalence of night
doubts the pressure pressed gently to it yesterday was worth remembering today
America, you drunk rapist
of suburban children
seeking to know your currents
pull themselves higher to see the view
know the far side of your hulk
you, America, show shadows of past days
bring down the cultural acme
to a level you can conduct with a symphony of fools playing 0ff and out of meter
you, America, want us to love you
and your ideals that you stopped practicing long before most of us came here,
you want us to love you
the way you were and ignore the bomb leaflets
dropped on Americans who haven't moved here yet
you, America
with your blind eyes and traffic stops
with your breathalyzers of dissidents
shatter our hopes with your material wealth
and the need to make more
you draw in our children with your Technicolor dreamscapes
teach them that 2D TV lovelives
can fill the void we feel
by not reaching out to feel our neighbors hands
call 9�� instead of showing up
to speak some words
you, that forbids our secret pleasures
from leaving us happy for a night
let us damn ourselves if you believe the freedom
with which our ancestors built you
let go of wrists because these nations' hands
have empires to wreck
and men to free
we have lovers to swoon
and stars to call our own
without the cataloging of spheres of gases
we have dreams of starlight
to worship lovers beneath
without the fist fall of your suspicions
let us alone, America,
you redneck whore,
you control freak with good intentions
our way to hell is paved with your statutes
that enforce the will of do杗othing meat puppets
instead of letting the artists
live for art's sake
and drag the moonlight out into day
name the blind sun with our own tongue
and kiss the clouds into tomorrow
you, America, the destroyer of worlds
the doom of dreams
leaving broken roads not taken
through yellow woods unseen
bought with slaves wages
we will resist you
cap your mountains with our footfalls
bring down the gates of mud
and bury them for peach tree orchards
you, America, may doom us one by one
but the enumeration of our mysteries
will hopscotch through our daughters' minds
raise the sons
to raise the armies to resist you
tear down the towers
overlooking our prison camp daymares
America, we love you
but you do bad things
no man is evil
but his actions may be
and sometimes crimes deserve just punishment
when too many have been broken

we, America, your sons and daughters, lay broken
but we won't here long
soon we'll rise
it will only take a moment
when one swift kick in the ribs
proves one to many
and we retake our place
and the bearers of freedom
the entrepreneurs of artistry
one more artist with shotgun dentistry
one more ghetto enclave to genocide the unwanted
one unlucky fuck who gets too close to the riot line
and takes a round on live network daytime TV
one martyr who didn't want to be
to raise the call in us
get us to pull each other up by the bootstraps
and bring down the highjackers of our grand experiment
and make you remember that you
are ours
we are not yours
you were a republic once
and they can last forever,
but all empires
must one day fall.