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

After Days Like These

After days like these

I want nothing but the sanctuary of your arms

to wrap me tight in your secrets

remind me that in this world clay

only your breath moves ocean tides

only your heartbeat counts time

and these stories and names are characters

I will remind my self in the autumn of my life

as I scribble down the whos and whats of my days

in silly recollection of comic book tales

you are the reality

your arms are the pages

that hold these chapters tightly

in the anticipation of my explanations

know that these paintings of pasts

can be whitewashed if it makes the story move smoothly

brings smiles to your face

that I can remember as the synapses fire for the last time

I yearn for you

for whatever that word is worth

for whatever that means in the grand scheme of things

you are the realism which this impressionism

of days in your absence strives to replicate

they are names and dates and numbers and fates,

but you, your are my reader

the audience with merit that judges the value of what I have seen

interprets and understands the reasons why I transcribed this particular moment

and not the thousand others I could have written

your arms are calling me home

to the caverns of your heart

wherein I can find the comfort of your breath

and forget my name

instead listen to the echo of how my words

reverberate off your answers

and eradicate the transitory meaning of these moments

call me home from any country

and I will forge passports

bribe any boarder patrol

to get me from these shores to yours

into the depth of your eyes

into earshot of your laughter

pave the way from my door to yours

and I will pay my passage with these stories

and leave myself broke and barefoot on your doorstep

for you to welcome me inside at your convenience

there, I will wait for my postcards to arrive in chronological order

to repeat them for you

to keep us warm by the fire

until it grows dim and fades

leaving us to drift off to sleep wrapped around each other

tighter than sin and salvation

or dreams and daylight

until the morning wakes us redeemed with new horizons

and unimagined countries renamed with our histories

open wide your arms as a beacon

and I will find my home

to you

Copyright 2005 © Christopher Fox Graham

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

Ready to Rock the open mic in Sedona? Do it Every Thursday.

Attention poets, poetry lovers, spoken word wizards, MCs, hip-hop warriors and page poets who want to burst open on the stage. Starting at 8 p.m. every Thursday, open mic poetry returns to Sedona.

The venue is Prism’s Cafe at Izzy’s Place next to The Whaz in Uptown Sedona, located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Jordan Roads and Apple Drive. From West Sedona, take Hwy. 89A into Uptown Sedona, take the first left after the stoplight, and go two blocks. Izzy’s place is on the left. From Flagstaff, take the right after you enter Uptown.

Prism’s Cafe at Izzy’s Place already houses one of three NORAZ Poets book partnerships, showcasing the printed work of NORthern AriZona poets.

The night kicks off at 8 p.m. and will run at least until 10 p.m. It will run later if it needs to - until poets start dropping like flies, until they run out of words, or until sunrise. Bring your poetry, bring others' poetry, bring other poets, and get set to rock the mic.

As always, your host will be the every lovable Christopher Fox Graham and his consummate side-kick Erik John Karpf.

Prism’s Café
355 Jordan Road, off Hwy 89A.
northwest corner of Apple and Jordan roads.
Uptown Sedona
928.282.0064



Saturday, October 1, 2005

Team NORAZ 2005, NORthern AriZona's National Poetry Slam Team

The 2005 NORAZ National Poetry Slam Team
Twenty-two slams.
Ninty-five poets.
Sixteen semi-finalists.
Two semi-finals.
Five National Slam Team members.
One Grand Slam Champion.
One night.
One final battle.
One team.

This is it, people. The war began with linguist broadsides fired in Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff in September 2004. Verbal battles waged in NORthern AriZona throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Twelve battles fought at Flagstaff's FlagSlam, seven clashes at Prescott's M.A.D. Slam, and three at Canyon Moon Theatre's clashes Sedona Slam.

Warriors fell.
Victors rose.
Rivalries formed.
Alliances were created, broken and renewed.

Now, sixteen of the best poets the Southwest have to offer break in two groups for a battle that few have seen before. Two semi-finals will select the top five from each for a final battle royale at the best venue in NORthern AriZona - Flagstaff's Orpheum Theatre.

Hearts will be broken.
Heroes will rise.
And from the final battle …
… a team will be forged.

Eleven poets will return home, knowing that they gave it their all.
Five poets will comprise the 2005 NORAZ National Poetry Slam Team.
And one poet, the hero of heroes, will be crowned the 2005 NORAZ Grand Slam Champion, the greatest slam poet that NORthern AriZona has to offer.

The verbal war is raging.
Word warriors take their places.
Let the final battle begin….


First Semi-Final, Canyon Moon Theatre, Sedona, on April 1, 2005
Feature Poet: Danny S. Solis has been called the Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, is a two time 'Burque Poetry Slam Champion, two-time Asheville, and Southeastern Regional Individual Champion, a four-time Boston individual Slam champion, a champion of the Taos Poetry Circus Open Slam, and a member of the winning duo in 2000 Taos Heavy Weight Tag Team poetry bout. He has been a part of two National Championship Poetry Slam teams.

The final scores of the semi-final, finally semitasticallitious:
Semi-Final Champion: Logan Phillips
, #7 seed, 88.4
2nd: Sharkie Marado, #12 seed, 85.0
3rd: Aaron Johnson, #1 seed, 84.2
4th: Al Moyer, #3 seed, 82.0
5th: Ryan Guide, #14 seed, 80.1
6th: Kimmy Wilgus, #16 seed, 79.5
7th: Justin Powell, #8 seed, 79.4
8th: Sarah Knurr, #19 seed, 73.4
David Rogers "Doc" Luben, #9 seed, was unfortunately unable to attend the slam and will not compete this year for the Team NORAZ.

Breakdown:
Round 1
Sarah Knurr,
"Finding a Home," was inspired by my awkward history of answering the question "where are you from?" when people ask me. My difficulty is that I have never stayed in one place long enough to call it home and feel any attachment to it. This poem was a brief summary of my traveling childhood and how I now have a place to call home.
22.3, 8th, -7.3
Aaron Johnson, "Balloon Boy," When Aaron was in high school, he had many peculiar ways of making money. Through selling balloons at a baseball field, Aaron learned the difference about making an honest living versus a life of crime.
26.3, 4th, -3.3
Ryan "Guts" Guide
25.6, 5th, -4.0
Al Moyer, "American Dream," Somebody suggested that I write a piece about the thing in my life that I was most ashamed of, though I hate to say it, the period of my life that I knew Taiwan was my lowest. This is my tribute to a guy that I've learned not to regret, and who taught me a lot of lessons about what's real, and what's only wishful thinking.
25.1, 6th, -4.5
Justin "Biskit" Powell
24.7, 7th, -4.9
Sharkie Marado, "Cinderella"
27.5, 2nd, -2.1
Kimmy Wilgus
26.4, 3rd, -3.2
Logan Phillips, "La Viejita de Sonora"
29.6, 1st

Round 2
Logan Phillips,
"Worth Words"
29.5, 1st
59.1, 1st
Kimmy Wilgus
26.5, 7th, -3.0
52.9, 5th, -6.2
Sharkie Marado, "Dear Perpetrator"
28.1, 4th, -1.4
55.6, 2nd, -3.5
Justin "Biskit" Powell
27.1, 6th, -2.4
51.8, 7th, -7.3
Al Moyer, "Say Anything," After the first time I met a woman, I found myself back in my room just wondering what if I just ran to her window and started screaming a love poem at her? From there, this just basically became my dedication to the larger-than-life love scenes that we see in movies, but never actually experience.
28.3, 3rd, -1.2
53.4, 4th, -5.7
Ryan "Guts" Guide
27.2, 5th, -2.3
52.8, 6th, -6.3
Aaron Johnson, "Make Love," This poem explains first-hand how American families cope with domestic abuse. Aaron applies a little art history to the poem, in order to explain why violence is a taboo conversation piece. This poem has been published in the Daily Sun, The Noise, and in FlagLIVE.
28.5, 2nd, -1.0
54.8, 3rd, -4.3
Sarah Knurr, "Chaos Rhyme," was originally entitled "Destruction Chant" and was only a few lines long. I composed it to play an important part in a role-play duel I fought some months ago. The character who chanted it was mage and the chant was calling on her various powers for aid. It never seemed complete to me though so I expanded on it.
26.0, 8th, -3.5
48.2, 8th, -10.9

Round 3
Logan Phillips,
"What He Dreams of in his Coma"
29.3, 3rd, -0.1
88.4, 1st
Sharkie Marado, "I Want a Man"
29.4, tie for 1st
85.0, 2nd, -3.4
Aaron Johnson, "Plague of Vague," Aaron Johnson created this poem as a blossoming poet. Another poet criticized Aaron for writing prose instead of poetry. As a response, Aaron challenges other writers, with humor and critical thinking, to write poetry that inspires change.
29.4, tie for 1st
84.2, 3rd, -4.2
Al Moyer, "Blood Stains," A female friend of mine, who was very dear to me, is the inspiration for this. It's a true story, beginning to end. I got a call in the grocery store, she told me she had cut herself, and I dropped my groceries and went to her house. I sat there and placated her while she poured her heart out to me (both figuratively and literally). That very last exchange between us in the poem is exactly what happened.
28.6, 4th, -0.8
82.0, 4th, -6.4
Kimmy Wilgus
26.6, 7th, -3.0
79.5, 6th, -8.9
Ryan "Guts" Guide
27.3, 6th, -2.1
80.1, 5th, -8.3
Justin "Biskit" Powell
27.6, 5th, -1.8
79.4, 7th, -9.0
Sarah Knurr, "I am American," is a little more complicated than the other poems I performed at semi-finals. The poem was written out of the pride I have in my country and it is meant to hide its true message that we are losing our cultural identity. This poem was meant to remind people.
25.2, 8th, -4.2
73.5 8th, -14.9

Key:
Poet,
Poem
Poem score, poem's rank that round, points back from top score that round
Cumulative score, cumulative rank, points back from top poet


Second Semi-Final, Studio 111, Flagstaff, on April 12, 2005
Feature Poet: Jack McCarthy, a working guy from the Boston area who’s been writing poetry since the mid-1960s. Jack McCarthy has been a member of the 1996 Boston National Slam Team, the 2000 Worcester (Mass.) National Slam Team, and been an Individual Semi-Finalist at the 2000 National Poetry Slam held in Providence, R.I. He has been honored as “Best Love Poet” at the Boston Poetry Awards, and “Best Spoken Word (Male)” and “Best Humorous Poet (Male)” at the Cambridge (Mass.) Poetry Awards.

The final scores of the second semi-final, in all their finery and pageantry:
Semi-Final Champion: Christopher Lane
, #6 seed, 88.2
2nd: Eric Larson, #5 seed, 86.8
3rd: Meghan Jones, #4 seed, 85.8
4th: Christopher Fox Graham, #2 seed, 85.7
5th: Rowie Shebala, #18 seed, 83.3
6th: Greg Nix, #11 seed, 82.8
7th: Lindsay C. Chamberlain, #15 seed, 82.4
Patrick DuHaine, #10 seed, was unfortunately unable to attend the slam and will not compete this year for the Team NORAZ.

Breakdown:
Round 1
Christopher Lane,
"a letter to the passer by," is a character piece of a homeless guy from the northeast tired of capitalism by reflecting on the power of music.
28.6, 2nd, -1.1
Meghan Jones, "Where's your Microphone?" A call to arms to woman writers. Personal and social commentary on how far women have come - and how far there is still yet to go.
28.3, 4th, -1.4
Greg Nix, "An Open Letter to the President of the Democratic National Committee," Probably what inspired this was me sitting around on a Saturday, thinking about what I would have said to Howard Dean when I heard he was accepting the Committee Chair position. After watching the Democratic Primaries last year, and the way the Clintons and New England elite screwed him in the media, wouldn't support him – the truth of the DNC shows itself. They want him to save their asses, but they don't want to support him. I fully believe the DNC and Party are lost in their own corruption and might as well join the GOP because their differences are only skin deep.
25.8, 7th, -3.9
Rowie Shebala,
27.6, 5th, -2.1
Lindsay C. Chamberlain
27.1, 6th, -2.8
Christopher Fox Graham "Spinal Language" A poem about tattooing my vertebrae like a living Tower of Babel, a vehicle through which all human languages could find a common home.
28.4, 3rd, -1.3
Eric Larson, "Wedding Party vs. the Elk," This poem was inspired by a real event, I was the minister of my friends wedding at the canyon and We did make a last minute dash to get beer in Tusanyan. And we DID encounter an elk in the middle of the road. All the internal thoughts are, however, artificial. I had time to go "*bleep*!" and swerve. It was later that I Elaborated on the events and created the poem.
29.7, 1st

Round 2
Eric Larson,
"You Can't Sell Love Poems," This was mostly an ego driven piece written when I was in love and was partially boasting and partially wanting the rest of the world to be as happy as I was. I wanted it to be kind of like a corny game show host personality, because, well, love is corny. Wonderful, but corny.
28.1, 4th, -1.9
57.8, 2nd, -0.8
Christopher Fox Graham "Three Minutes for Dyllan," on Dec. 6, 2004, an 8-year-old boy in Cottonwood, Ariz., hanged himself. As copy editor of the Sedona Red Rock News, having to edit the story and write the headline was of my most painful duties I have had as a journalist.
28.9 with a 1.5 time penalty, 27.4, 5th, -2.6
55.8, 4th, -1.8
Lindsay C. Chamberlain
26.7, 6th, -3.3
53.8, 7th, -4.8
Rowie Shebala,
26.6, 7th, -3.4
54.2, 6th, -4.4
Greg Nix, "I'm Not a Poet"
28.6, 3rd, -1.4
54.4, 5th, -4.2
Meghan Jones, "Patches," a breakdown of parts of my body and my personality based on who inspired me to be such or have such and how that has affected me
28.7, 2nd, -1.3
57.0, 3rd, -1.6
Christopher Lane "for jessica," also a character piece but was born from an article i read in the arizona republic(an) about a 4-year-old girl, adopted by her foster parents. one night she was given too much water to drink because the parents child psychiatrist told them to give her what she sneaks in excess. consequently, they made her drink too much water to where there was an extreme imbalance of sodium to water in her body and her brain swelled, killing her. this poem is for all those who make it and don't make it, out of abusive parental relationships.
30.0 (a perfect 50.0), 1st
58.6, 1st

Round 3
Christopher Lane,
"akasha," for the greatest person in my life, my loving wife. it's really about the first time we went out and how i knew i wanted to be with her for the rest of my life
29.6, 2nd, -0.3
88.2, 1st
Eric Larson, "Plea," This was a response to my having a long series of 'she done me wrong' poems, almost becoming known for that as my signature. These came after the relationship that was responsible for "You can't sell love poems" ended rather suddenly and poetry was my main method of dealing with it. Anyhow, one day, I realized I was over it. I was a little concerned, what would I write about now? I needed another relationship, preferably a rocky one with an unballanced woman, to give me new inspiration. Thus "Plea" was born. Think of it as a really messed up personals add.
29.0, 4th, -0.9
86.8, 2nd, -1.4
Meghan Jones, "If you wanna hang out you've gotta take her out,..." Anyone get the Clapton reference? This started out being a piece on hot summer night living in Phoenix, but took it's own turn into a bad, one-long-cocaine-binge relationship that revolves around late night Denny's visits and his addiction.
28.8, 5th, -1.1
85.8, 3rd, -2.4
Christopher Fox Graham, "The Peach is a Damn Sexy Fruit," the stupidest poem I have ever written, it is also one of my favorites. I don't know where that voice comes from, but it still makes me laugh.
29.9, 1st
85.7, 4th, -2.5
Greg Nix, "King George's Blow Job," I think the line that sticks out in people's thoughts is "...I imagine laying there, watching all that spitty jizz..." because its the most descriptive and disturbing to a number of people. Truth is, ever since the Iraq War started, it has felt as though I've gotten a load of spitty jizz spit in my face every day. It blows my mind that the media and GOP almost impeached Clinton (who will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents) over a *bleep*ing blow job. Then this *bleep* spoiled *bleep* gets away with murdering thousands of our citizens and hundreds of thousands of others in this worl (yes, i call it murder because it is) and not a godamn roar of outrage is heard on the news. *bleep* him. When he passes on in to the next life, I fully plan on pissing on his grave in my middle age.
28.4, 7th, -1.5
82.8, 6th, -5.4
Rowie Shebala,
29.1, 3rd, -0.8
83.3, 5th, -4.9
Lindsay C. Chamberlain
28.6, 6th, -1.0
82.4, 6th, -5.8

Key:
Poet,
Poem
Poem score, poem's rank that round, points back from top score that round
Cumulative score, cumulative rank, points back from top poet





Grand Slam Finals, Orpheum Theater, on April 23
Round 1
Christopher Fox Graham, "They Held Hands"
24.7, 5th, -2.2
Al Moyer"Pennyroyal Tea," A friend of mine wanted an abortion, but couldn't afford it. She asked me for help, and I reluctantly made her a pot of pennyroyal tea. This piece is all about watching her, and debating the morality of the situation.
19.9 (after -1.0 time penalty), 10th, -7.0
Logan Phillips, "¿Sin Voz?"
26.9, 1st
Meghan Jones, "Ceramic Grass Skirts," written, essentially, because my mother told me I write too much about other people and their relationships with me and not enough about me. Touches on why I write as much as I do and a brief history of my childhood from a writing perspective.
24.5, 7th, -2.4
Aaron Johnson
24.7, 5th, -2.2
Mr. Lane
26.5, 2nd, -0.4
Sharkie Marado
25.2, 4th, -1.7
Ryan "Guts" Guide
21.3 (after -0.5 time penalty), 9th, -5.6
Eric Larson, "Entropy." This is sort of an all-inclusive political rant about all that I think is wrong with the world and our country in particular today. It kind of happened in one burst with only a few modifications and cuts for time. Also it fullfilled a long held ambition to have a Planet of the Apes reference in a poem.
25.3, 3rd, -1.6
Rowie Shabala
23.8, 8th, -3.1

Round 2 was in reverse order of first round.
Rowie Shabala
24.0, 7th, -4.4
47.8, 7th, -7.1
Eric Larson, "Genesis." The idea for this poem was a satirical re-telling of the begining of the universe and life on earth as told in the first lines of the Bible, but from a modern scientific viewpoint. And I wanted to try an audience response poem.
23.8, 8th, -4.6
49.1, 6th, -5.8
Ryan "Guts" Guide
22.7, 10th, -5.7
44.0, 10th, -10.9
Sharkie Marado
23.8, 8th, -4.6
49.0, 8th, -7.2
Mr. Lane
28.4, 1st
54.9, 1st
Aaron Johnson
26.1, 6th, -2.3
50.8, 4th, -4.1
Meghan Jones, "Blank; a love poem," I know, induce vomiting here. With particularly witty comparison to a person being like vowels in an alphabet, necessary but not the entirety.
26.2, 5th, -2.2
50.7, 5th, -4.2
Logan Phillips, "The Boy's Pockets"
27.2, 2nd, -1.2
54.1, 2nd, -0.8
Al Moyer, "When I Grow Up" - This was one of the first "slam" pieces I wrote. Right after I graduated high school everyone was asking me what I wanted to be, and I realized that all of my answers were based on the pay for that job. It's all about me realizing that I still want to be all the things I wanted to be when I was a kid, and that I should want to be them for the honorable reasons, not because of the money.
26.7, 3rd, -1.7
45.6, 9th, -9.3
Christopher Fox Graham, "We Call Him Papa," a eulogy I wrote and read for my maternal grandfather, Frank "Buster" Redfield who died Oct. 31, 2004.
26.7, 3rd, -1.7
51.4, 3rd, -2.5

Clearing poet, Greg Nix, "Not a Poet".

Round 3
Mr. Lane,
"Akasha"
27.4, 3rd, -0.4
82.3, 1st
Logan Phillips "Silverfish"
27.3, 4th, -0.5
81.4, 2nd, -0.9
Christopher Fox Graham, "Coming Home." Daniela asked, "what are you thinking about," and this poem happened in the three seconds before I asked for a kiss.
27.5, 2nd, -0.3
78.9, 3rd, -3.4
Aaron Johnson
27.0, 6th, -0.8
77.8, 4th, -4.5
Meghan Jones, "Ironically, Meghan won her battle against the watermelon, but it was close. Damn close," I like long titles. A comment on how being honest in writing is not necessary and sometimes is better than telling the truth. As a side note, also comments on the stereotypical "hipster poet" and the addict centered society.
27.1, 5th, -0.7
77.8, 4th, -4.5
Eric Larson, "Alpha Male." I first thought of this poem before I had even seen my first slam. Its become almost infamous and is probably the poem most often mentioned to me by poetry fans. Most people get the double irony in that I am in no way the Alpha Male, and yet, I like many men do act in (some of) these ways from time to time. The first step is admiting you have a problem.
26.5, 7th, -1.3
75.6, 6th, -6.7
Sharkie Marado
26.1, 8th, -1.7
75.1, 7th, -7.2
Al Moyer, "...tied to a tree," A good friend of mine told me he had a terrible dream about being tied to a tree and bludgeoned with rocks for being gay, a Matther Shepard-sort of hate crime. This is my tribute to him, and a warcry for equality.
27.8, 1st
73.4, 8th, -8.0
Rowie Shabala
25.2, 9th, -2.3
73.0, 9th, -8.4
Ryan "Guts" Guide
Disqualified in perhaps the most outrageous demonstration of his moniker "Guts," Ryan "Guts" Guide brought three other poets on stage, Dom Flemons, Kimmy Wilgus andJustin "Biskit" Powell, and both Ryan "Guts" Guide and Ms. Wilgus disrobed. In one fell swoop, Ryan "Guts" Guide broke three slam rules, solo poet (no group poems), no props (the nudity and Dom Flemons' hair), and original poetry (co-written by Kimmy Wilgus). Host Nick Fox stopped the poem after about three minutes.
It was awesome.
44.0, 10th, -37.4

Clearing poet, Sarah Knurr, "What it Means not to Speak". I wrote it there at the Slam, so I am really not sure what was going through my head at the time except that I was thinking about all the judgemental people in my life and how, as I child, I was too afraid of being a disappointment to share my true opinion and how that helped form who I am today.

4th place slam-off. In a one poem death match for fifth place.
Aaron Johnson
28.0
Meghan Jones, "Annie," a comparison to an eating disorder as an actual person and how this affects someone.
28.1


2005 NORAZ National Poetry Slam Team
2005 NORAZ National Poetry Slam Team:
Mr. Lane

82.3, 1st
Logan Phillips
81.4, 2nd, -0.9
Christopher Fox Graham
78.9, 3rd, -3.4
Meghan Jones
77.8, 4th, -4.5 (won in Sudden Death Slam-Off, 28.1)
Aaron Johnson
77.8, 4th, -4.5 (lost in Sudden Death Slam-Off, 28.0)
- - - - -
Eric Larson
75.6, 6th, -6.7
Sharkie Marado
75.1, 7th, -7.2
Al Moyer
73.4, 8th, -8.0
Rowie Shabala
73.0, 9th, -8.4
Ryan "Guts" Guide
Disqualified for last round poem
44.0, 10th, -37.4

2005 NORAZ National Poetry Slam Team wins the state tournament at the 5th annual Arcosanti Slab City Slam
The Arizona State Championship title has returned to NORthern AriZona. The NORAZ Poets won the Arcosanti Slab City Slam on April 28, by 16.5 points.

"That's two touchdowns and a field goal," Christopher Lane, NORAZ Poets executive director and Team NORAZ member, said.

The fifth annual Arcosanti Slab City Slam featured 10 teams from all across the state. The NORAZ Poets included three teams of four poets each. Team NORAZ, Team Prescott, Team FlagSlam, faced off against Team Tucson, Team Arcosanti, The Loose Nuts, Hangover Express, a third Phoenix team, The X-Hosts, a team of slam hosts from the East Valley of Phoenix and Team NORAZ's cross-state arch-rivals Team Mesa Nationals, who has won the last four This year's Mesa team includes Brent Heffron a member of the 2004 Team NORAZ.

The championship team consisted of 4 of the 5 members of Team NORAZ:
Christopher Lane, of Sedona
Meghan Jones, of Flagstaff
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona, and
Logan Philips, of Flagstaff.

Team Prescott:
Eric Larson, of Prescott, and a member of 2004 Team NORAZ
Patrick David DuHaime, of Prescott
David Rogers "Doc" Luben, of Prescott, and
Greg Nix, of Flagstaff

Team FlagSlam:
Aaron Johnson, of Flastaff, the fifth member of Team NORAZ
Kimmy Wilgus of Flagstaff
Rhett Pepe, of Flagstaff
John R. Kofonow, Slam Master of Flagstaff

The tournament consisted of all 10 teams competing in two preliminary rounds.

Christopher Lane, kicking off the slam with "if this poem," starting in the middle of the crowd and moving to the microphone as he performed. At the end of the first round, Team Mesa was ahead by a slim margin. But Meghan Jones' poem, "Where's Your Microphone?," a plea to the women poets in the crowd to become slam poets started off the second round with Team NORAZ in the lead, and the margin of victory only increased. Christopher Fox Graham's "We Call Him Papa" and Logan Philips' "The Boy's Pockets" cemented their lead.

As round two rolled around, Team Mesa came in fierce in the first slot. Team FlagSlam was in the third slot, followed by Team Prescott, and Team NORAZ in the sixth slot. Logan Philips started off with "Worth of Words," followed by Meghan Jones' "Patches", Christopher Fox Graham's "Spinal Language" and closing out the last round of the bout with Christopher Lane's "poetry is still."

The final bout would be the top 4 teams: Team NORAZ, Team Prescott,, Team Tucson and Team Mesa Nationals.

The night's poetry feature was Luke Warm Water, an activist, poet, epidemiologist an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, born and raised in Rapid City, S.D. Author of John Wayne Shot Me, Luke Warm Water, has performed across the United States, England and Germany, in 120 venues within the last 4 years. He was preceded by 2005 NORAZ Poets semi-finalist Rowie Shebala, of the Navajo Nation.

Team NORAZ now had a comfortable lead of 12 points. The finals bout was a "feature" round for the team. Christopher Lane performed "for Jessica…". Christopher Fox Graham brought out perhaps the most anticipated poem of the night, "The Peach is a Damn Sexy Fruit." Meghan Jones, made the night a hot one with the sensual, sexy "Honey." The line "caramelize me," melted the audience in their seats. To top out the night, Logan Philips performed his last poem.

In the end:
Team NORAZ 339.4
Team Mesa Nationals 322.9
Team Prescott 320.9
Team Tucson 315.6

The night ended with a bronze pour at the Arcosanti Bronze Foundry where the Arconauts created the 40-pound bronze trophy, followed by a fire performance by Flam Chen, and a huge after-party that rolled until dawn.

Note that NORAZ Poets, not just Team NORAZ won the tournament. Of the 40 poets who competed, 13 of them were NORAZ Poets. We are a community of poets, not just a team, and not individuals. The victory and the trophy represents our strength as a community, unified in our diversity.