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.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Welcome to the Show

welcome to the show
we fit the parts cast by the playwright
dodge bullets in slow motion
according to the script
and the audience holds tightly
to the armrest
waiting for the quotable one-liners
that slip into the memes of later days

the girls said I was mysterious
over a glass of wine
and that they held onto the illusion
that I had a dark side beneath the sunglasses
the collarless navy blue coat
and the unwavering addiction to proper grammar
while I smiled inside
and wondered from where
they got that crazy idea

I'm as mysterious as sunlight
open your eyes
look up at the way it bounces off the leaves
and see what's already there
I'm two words and an invitation away
from spilling my guts
but somehow, no one wants to ask
"can you tell me your story?"

shyness, I suppose,
has unintended results
my words reveal the façade outside
put on to pass the days
to put it simply
I'm Calvin minus Hobbes
though I keep him at home on the nightstand
sometimes, in the city,
I'm Spaceman Spiff, until Wormwood
in all her incantations,
brings me back to the math class world

sometimes, I wonder,
what the world will say of me after I pass
will anyone step forward and reveal that they knew me best?
will the dots and dashes of my days
be readable to those still listening to my ramblings?

I catalogue my infatuations in my columns
each artist is a glorious interpretation
of who I might have been if born in them
instead of in this
I wish I could be them all,
but short of that, I'll let the readers know
in bits and parts
the pieces of me I see in them
my story is a transmutation of a thought:
we're all the same ash and dust
pushing out breath until we pass into oblivion
the stories, vices and art of our days
makes the moments between death and birth meaningful
though the dance is ultimately futile

but if we're doomed to fade
why make our days so trying?
smile wide, take her hand,
dance like a fool
kiss her when the moment is totally wrong
and make it right
because the judgment of a moment
is a matter of choice:
don't let fate decide the circumstances and react
with right or wrong
choose first, and fate will rewrite the facts

soapbox preaching only converts those willing to listen
and if no one does
I preach to myself
because I still need convincing from time to time
acting without forethought, in the present,
is what the zen koans elucidate
be one hand clapping
wash my bowl now empty of rice
thank the master, but don't take the stone
I need not be scarred by a bad choice
when a simple bow is all that's required
kiss when I feel like it
walk away when the time has passed
and find ways to live in freedom
that Robbins found through Satre

memes find me
at the time when I need them most
they hover around the edges
I'll known when to look for what I must find
temet nosce
and the pieces fill in the spaces appropriately

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