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.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

My poems from the Sedona Slam Jan 30th, 2004


"Election Year Mudslinging"

Christopher Lane
claims he’s right for America,
but what is he really hiding?

do you think you know
the real Christopher Lane?
since Mr. Lane moved to Arizona
republicans retook the white house
and both houses of congress
since Mr. Lane moved to Arizona
3 million Americans have lost their jobs
the economy has faltered
and we went to war in Iraq
where are the weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Lane?

Christopher Lane won’t tell you
about his connections to Enron
the dot-com bubble
the space shuttle Columbia disaster
the earthquake in Iran
or the breakup of Ben Affleck and J-Lo
what are you hiding, Christopher Lane?

Christopher Lane went to china last year
he claims it as a vacation
was it really?
or is Mr. Lane a dirty red communist?
what is he really hiding?

Christopher Lane seems to ask a lot of questions
he has a poem called “how many more?”
and one called “can you spare some change?”
and his first book was called,
“who is your god now?”
Lots of questions, Mr. Lane
but I think the American people
deserve some answers
why won’t you answer the questions, Mr. Lane?

lets look at some comparisons:
both Mr. Lane and George W Bush are from Texas,
both Mr. Lane and Jeffrey Dahmer wore tennis shoes
both Mr. Lane and Unabomber Ted Kazinski
lived in a trailer in the woods
both Mr. Lane and Napoleon stood 5 foot 7 inches tall
both Mr. Lane and Adolf Hitler had facial hair

so why would you trust Mr. Lane?

what are you hiding Mr. Lane?
why won’t you answer, Mr. Lane?
it’s time to get tough, Mr. Lane
and answer the real questions of America:
who is really financing the NORAZ Poets, Mr. Lane?
where is osama bin laden, Mr. Lane?
how did you vote in the 2000 election, Mr. Lane?
will the Mars Rover discover water and the evidence of life, Mr. Lane?
did you put the Bop in the Bop-Shu-Bop, Mr. Lane?
do you “got milk”, Mr. Lane?
what was Willis talkin’ ‘bout, Mr. Lane?
where were you on the night of November 31st, Mr. Lane?
what is the square root of
twelve-thousand-nine-hundred-eight-three, Mr. Lane?
why won’t a woman sleep with me, Mr. Lane?

until Christopher Lane answers these questions,
America can’t trust you –

but who can they trust?
who should win this slam?

Christopher Fox Graham
he’s good for America,
he’s good for Arizona,
and he deserves at least a 9.7

“Hi, I’m Christopher Fox Graham,
and I approve this message.”

"Spinal Language"

For Christmas
give me a tattoo
deeper than skin
on the bones of my spine
onto the surface of every vertebrae
in every human tongue
tattoo their word for “poetry”
so that no language feels foreign anymore;
so that each human voice
can speak a word in me

let Arabic and Hebrew
sit side by side without throwing stones
let Cantonese and Hindi characters
link hands to hold Swahili and Hutu in a hammock
let Basque and Zulu finally touch lips Vietnamese
while Navajo rests it’s head on the shoulder of Malay

we speak six thousand tongues
but i’ll endure the pain and the time
so no human voice can speak to me
without being felt
down to the bone

let African syllables
share space with European articulations,
Asian morphemes,
and Aboriginal pronunciations,

line them up and engrave them
like an organic barcode written in Braille
readable by the worms that will one day convert me back
to the religion of dust and ash
that we believed in once
before this cult of flesh and blood
brought us out from clay
to play brief characters in the rain

let them taste the flavor of our words
let them consume poetry
and give it back to the soil
so the earth can feel the weight of our words
and not forget us
when we extinct ourselves
like the species before us

carve the last word
in morse code
at the base of my spine
so that I can hear the rhythm of the word
in my hips when i sleep
.--. --- . - .-. -.--
let dots and dashes spread
across all my bones in a virus of comprehension
so if i lose my voice
I can still speak a word
by tapping my fingers,
pounding a drum
or changing the rhythm of my heartbeat
to speak with my blood


six thousand tongues
playing my spine
in 33-part harmony
making a symphony of me
with a melody that reverberates
up my spinal cord
echoing louder and louder in the tunnel
amplifying the compounding music
all the way to the base of my brain
where it detonates
and resonates inside my skull
six thousand new expressions
for the same word
with the voices of six billion singers
into my six trillion thoughts
until I can take no more chaos
and their song explodes from my lips

offering the world
a moment of synchronized understanding
of one song
of one voice
of one man
for one instant

before the world blinks
loses focus
and listens to the echo
slowly fade away

"Hit Me Running"

don’t sell me funeral plots
on late night television
if the end is already in sight

am I supposed to pull the sheets up to my neck,
count to zero,
smile, and cease?


keep your pills, in all their pretty colors:
celebrex, propecia, allegra, lipitor, zanex, viagra
keep them for scrabble
keep your rogaine, your facelifts
keep your death insurance
keep your graveyard reservations

hit me running.

let me go down swinging

make it a sport:

give me a ten-minute head start
and an obstacle course.

place Suzy la Follette on the far side of a mine field
and whisper, “she wants to kiss you”

target me on my feet
dodging doomsday’s in slow-mo bullet time

let me duel the grim reaper in a poetry slam

but let me lay where i fall
let the buzzards and coyotes
pick apart my bones
don’t stuff me and sew me up
waste my estate on alcohol for my wake
not formaldehyde
instead of wood for a coffin,
build me a funeral pyre
and set me ablaze like a pagan-warrior-king
sing songs,
roast marshmallows,
get drunk,
and recite your poetry
by the time we’re done
the grim reaper will beg for a vacation

i don’t have to win,
but let me believe I have a chance at immortality
even if the probability is one a billion.
those are good odds
if I’m the one

those who believe in death will die first

if I believe I’m going to live forever,
if I believe I can fly
I just might

so from the chickens before me,
sucking in their pot-bellies,
grooming their comb-overs,
I’ll craft wings from their plucked feathers
reach cruising altitude alongside Icarus
but outrace the sun

light doesn’t have the speed to catch me

these lungs won’t stop breathing,
these cells will break open replacements
this heart will beat out of sheer will
to last longer than timex or twinkies
and endure eternity
just to see how this story ends
and whether
the hero gets the girl
or a bullet to the brain

I will hold onto immortality
by my fingernails and the skin of my teeth
past the all epochs and ages and armageddons
so I can see if the end
begins the beginning all over again
or does the whole thing backwards
or upside down with inverted colors
or just stops
like in the Twilight Zone,
one second before the apocalypse

but my bet is that i
will finally sober up
take my medication
set the alarm
roll over
and turn the television off

All poems
Copyright © 2004
Christopher Fox Graham

Michelle Branch doesn't trust Mr. Lane. But she wants to lick my spine. Then nail me running

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