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.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The planet formerly known as Pluto


On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number 134340 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system.
The move reinforces the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) recent decision to strip Pluto of its planethood and places it in the same category as other small solar-system bodies with accurately known orbits.
Pluto's companion satellites, Charon, Nix and Hydra are considered part of the same system and will not be assigned separate asteroid numbers, said MPC director emeritus Brian Marsden. Instead, they will be called 134340 I, II and III, respectively.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

Pinocchio

kinetic push of flesh
moving the body art
through choreographed scenes
while the mind flutters circumnavigate
the candlestick of memory

I dance the tango of the days
spit out the lines at the appropriate scenes
and wait for the invisible audience
to reward my perfect pronunciation
at the end-of-year ceremony

on autopilot, calendar dates are irrelevant
stories are games to tell
and the drama of living
can be evaded like doing dishes during commercials

none of the day-to-day matters
so it slips away like echoes
"remember whens" archivists will have to assemble
when all is said and done

what moves me
hides beneath the shell outside
a director manipulating the scenes
a wild-haired physicist
measuring the proper mixture
of language, action, time and place
to produce results
sentience is a word it seems only I know
but choose to ignore
so as to fit in with the flesh machines
responding to stimuli of biology and linguistics

yet a wild-haired speck of skin among the pantheon
seeks me out
dotting the I's and crossing the T's I'd forgotten
backtracking me to the whys of my whats
fencing me into a corner that my science can..t elude

her language-hilted rapier
slides past my parries
cuts the skin
and stings the softer spots

car chases and explosives flash on the screen
but her teases leave more impact
and she's winning all the Oscars

the plastic mold wrapped around this name and image
melts into a puddle in the desert
the deities lose their feathers
and can't hold their thunderbolts
flesh curls over Geppetto's pawn
the liar's sins are clear as noses
and excuses make no difference

in those languid embraces
the sorrow of centuries
breaks through the skin
bleeding my ache into the sand
the words held tight for the sake of image
fall as rain
soaking the desert for the first time in years

These night with wide-open eyes

these night with wide-open eyes
beers poured straight from the tap cold on barren lips
while warm memories of days past
hang in the air
swirling with cigarettes and stories

they laugh in the moments
faces illuminated by the fire
telling the same stories nightly
with new characters, new names

while indoors, through the glass
the musicians try to reinvent the wheels of chords
drummers play new beats
guitarists verse new instruments
poets pen new lines
and explode from the doom of days

we are heading daily toward death
trying to forget our inborn destiny
with swift fingers, kisses and pretty words

"if only we could drink them away"
the poets and musicians say between the lines
hoping that riff, that lyric will make it so
begging the drum beats to shake loose our age
and return us to youth and oblivion

but we wake in dawn's light
to the same fate day after day
knowing the course hasn't changed:

our hair will gray
drop to the floor
and remind us in the echoes
that lover's kisses are fleeting remembrances
forgotten with too much time or distance to part us

we will spill our incoherence from lips
dream of days past
press memories into photo albums
to remind our older selves
that we lived once
when the Golden World still held its glimmer with sheen
and we will sigh at all the appropriate times
when reminded and cued

"remember when?"
"yes, drunken poet, those were the days"
we raged against the dark loneliness of life
sweating in the arms of someone young
and gloriously beautiful
we dropped synonyms
and danced with our long hair swishing about hips rocking
to the beat
loosened our fingers as through
they were broken free from hands except for skin and intention
we shook arms and legs with reckless abandon
and tipped the barkeeps
too much for their troubles

but tonight
raise your fists
beat against the blind sky
and scream out in drunken ecstasy:
"tonight with not be the last!
we have more days to forget our names!"
more minutes to press lips to microphones
and believe in our own desperate words

we are dust and echoes in the pageantry of dying skins
renaming ourselves when the dialects change
live fast, die young at heart
and leave a poem, a song, a story for those who bury you

all that matters is the moment
the musicians, the poets, the lovers and the dancers
scream into the night
forget all that doesn..t matter
which is all of the human drama

we waking shadows
we walking dreams
we face the inevitable echo
that haunts all our days
that one morning will be silent and sober
when we are forgotten

on that morning,
the songs will change
and the band will play on

Days Keep Counting Down

these days of weighted dreams
hanging onto my psyche
pulling me down from those lofty places
I used to hold tightly
the pitter-patter stories
we, as boys, promised ourselves
we would follow
all those paths from hand-holding
to kisses at altars
and all the mishmash afterward
we boys dreams like little girls do
but hold them much more secret
and share them only with stuffed animals
spill them later on the teenage pages
as dreams ferment in our bellies into the angst
that drives us to wars and booze
as our hairs begin to gray

those boy's dreams wage war
with the boy I have become
whose lovers are few and far between
measuring the distances
with drunken nights, the newest novels
more poems than needed
road trips, porno pages and borrowed CDs

we make excuses about the ones we left
the one we're waiting for
if only time would hurry us there
and moments of the brain-blinding joy
when we think with butterflies
is this it, is this her?

but time keeps clicking
the scope of rifle zeroing in on moving targets
waiting for the round that will hit us
before we hear it

and our bank accounts fill and empty
the calendars fall from the walls
and the numbers keep adding up
while days keep counting down