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.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Best Day in Months

Manifest Destiny and I spend two days in Flagstaff last week. Two days of poetry, booze, conversation, wandering and passing out at odd places. The best part of it all was spending 11 hours with Becca Allen who, incidentally, looks far less goofy in person than on my camera phone.

My Best Day in Months

when I said it was my best day in months
I meant it
despite the drunken stumbling
the late-night cold
and breaking a lock to a public building
an hour before dawn
just to find a place to sleep

it was a good day
because so much of it was with her
swallowed in the warmth of her smile
as she tripped over herself
like always
unable to keep herself upright
I admire her clumsiness
because of its familiarity
the way she could hardly
keep her feet beneath herself near me
our twin orbits
pulling each other's equilibriums off-kilter
so we seem to slide into each other
as we have in the years of our courtship
that's what I call it anyway
she'd say were lurching toward insanity
as we bicker and part ways
for months at a time
only colliding together
when she chooses to miss me
never soon enough
never often enough

it was a good day
because for a few sweet hours
I felt hers
sprawled out her bed
as she picked up her laundry
or became familiar in her shower
with all the solutions and cleansers she uses
or as she gave me 9 gigs of music
knowing my lacking taste
I felt hers
for the first time in years
I would those moments last for years
if I had the power
but lacking anything beyond memory
I catalogued all the moments
as best I could
knowing I'd pen poems like these
for each one worth remembering
taking snapshots every few seconds
whenever she flashed a smile
over her boyfriend's shoulder
yes, he was there, too
oblivious to the details of our history
the living-room floor half-nude wrestling
the wine-fueled sleepovers
when you drank too much
and I forgot my name
the first time we fucked
mid-party with 70 friends
watching our foreplay
she kept her mouth silent
and I offered no insight
into our closeness
she consistently called me "friend"
though I interpreted it as "lover"
and hoped no one understood our dialect
with the same fluency

it was a good day despite the broken heart
of seeing her happy
with someone who wasn't me
but all my sins
made this inevitable
someday, when someone mistakes
all my poetry too seriously
my sins will become infamous
in the annals of romance
catalogued and cross-referenced
but for now,
my sins are still unfinished
I have dozens more love affairs
to trainwreck into oblivion
more relationships to ruin
more unkind words
spoken at just the wrong time
to demolish some sacred moment
my love is nothing if not entertaining
to those not caught in my crosshairs
with friends like me
who needs enemies?
so I can’t blame her
for choosing a better option
than what I could muster at the moment

it was a good day
one that made me want to be a better man
for a thousand different ways
I can't express to her with my succinctness
but it drained me of illusions for days
as if I could see the future
just a few moments ahead
and more aware of the beauty around me
the small things I used to embrace
years ago when I called myself "poet"
for the first time:
the flight of dragonflies
making love in the morning
the heady residue
in a pint of beer
the echo of small talk
in a crowded bar
as I scribbled this down
the feeling of being crestfallen for far too long
I've never felt this broken before
not this broken for this long
with no seeming way out

I needed to fall
have my wings clipped
suffer for my vanity
my unwillingness to forgive
my pride, which will one day
damn me to a sudden death
I want to live a cliché life sometimes
the 2.5 kids, housewife,
boring but steady job
and a dog bearing slippers
with all my potential poetry
locked in the closet of my mind
and no recollection of artistry
because this life is too hard
the loneliness, the hangovers
the desperate lurch from paycheck to paycheck
breaking me beneath its boot heel
wondering if today I'l pay for food
or car registration --
but I have to quantify this pressure
lest my mother again mistake these complaints
for suicidal thoughts
and I get another late-night call
to explain that poets only kill themselves
when they have nothing else to write
not when they're writing it all down --
I have no recourse but to endure
pray for better days
to celebrate surviving poverty
and I hope she's there
with open arms when I rise up
eager to hold me again
and recall this as just one good day
after so many piss-poor ones

this was a good day
because she was in it
and tomorrow is another chance
to see her again

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