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, November 21, 2005

A Blind Man Misses the Sun

Tracing small town streets
she inches along in the shadows
filling thoughts between left turns
and Long Island Iced Teas
the barkeep serves me my regular
and I can't keep these hands
from paper confessions

there are as many miles between us
as days until I see you again
only patience or a Visa ATM could shorten either
but late night phone calls beneath starlight
don't require oil changes
and the days, well,
the days I use to cover pages in chicken scratch
to pave the way back to my front door

I miss you like a blind man misses the sun
can feel it on his skin
but can't reach out and see its believers
glowing their convictions for us to see

the drink is settling in
for a conversation with my liver
and these cigarettes are burning holes in my lungs
opening up the rest of me to pour out
reasons why I miss the nuances of your smile

three hours a night when reception is good
and with full batteries
and a generous calling plan isn't sufficient
I want your voice to swallow me
30 hours a day

My ears are starving without you to feed them
they're holding out for the sushi of your stories
rather than the convenient store fast food
of the movie extras
who want to discuss the weather
and the "blah, blah" bullshit
to pass the time

give me your 1 a.m. brilliance
scribble your magic tricks on postcards
and mail them daily

you are a Doors concert
in a sea of garage band wannabees
let me crowd surf to your lyrics
while the rest of the world buys
black T-shirts and CDs burned on iMacs

you make me want to speak profoundly
write like statesmen scribbling their
final speeches en route to their own funerals

king my prose with your hands
so I know I'm not wasting my time
bless my common verses into royalty
turn my ink-blood blue with your sincerity
and we'll build fiefdom of words

my neighbors at the bar
discuss police reports and margaritas
let me never be that dull
fill my lungs only with honest words
only faithful stories of you and I
visiting countries whose names people only know
from geography classes
we'll never follow these people
toward their easy separation of heartbeats

in my last days, wrinkled and endlessly forgetful
I will recall a girl
who danced like a magic trick
that David Copperfield would envy

I flip through my wallet
slip out a card to pay for my truths
the barkeep gets 20 bucks on a $12 tab
and I get six pages of poetry
the gods made alcohol so poets could be free

return to me and I am yours over miles and time
and every morning I will ask "how did your sun rise?"
mine will always rise slow and brilliant
tell me what haunts you
and I will do the same

the barkeep pours his last drink
and I try to remember things to dream, but
they slip out and leave me waiting for you

Pixels, electrons, 26 letters

She is a world away
seeing a country I only know through geography and Renaissance Lit.
and I scribble poetry in dark bars
eight hours behind her
wondering what the future holds
for her, it’s dawn
while I’m on the end of another day

pixels, electrons and 26 characters
are no substitute for sound and skin
but somehow fold together our two points
close enough to embrace warmth
so our absence isn’t so unbearable

I want to talk for hours
and not say a thing
just dance in the music of her language
forget all the syllables I’ve learned since infancy
learn them anew in her dialect

I wish I knew now what dreams she’s adventuring in
the roles or names she’s playing
and whether I have any part in them

I imagine her tousled hair
gracing a pillow heavy in my envy
while visions of her happy days play in reverse
the prayers I’ve spoken to stars
slipping in as time permits
they’ve promised me they would courier them to her
if I stayed faithful to the Word
a bargain sworn on desert moonlight

empty words are all I have to offer
coupled with heartbeats harmonizing with hers
lovers, I’m told, share thoughts
ignorant of distance and time
so I’m sure that as she wakes and greets the dawn
she wishes my arms were wrapped around her
whispering nothing of import
but that we could share the same space somewhere
in the undiscovered country between waking and dreaming
we are its citizens
holding passports in two countries
still living in the glory of their ancient histories
speaking its secret language to each other
when time permits

words are such silly creatures
they way they try to own thoughts with sound and ink
we should exile them to forgettable realms
curse their grammatical arrogance
for trying to encapsulate our passions
I wish that our silence could speak
voice all out desires of touch and language
caravan them across the seas
bear them into foreign ports
and traipse the roads to your doorstep
for you to interpret as you will