Derrick Brown is one of my favorite slam poets. His poetry builds metaphorical constructs that I often find beyond brilliant and he conveys a sincerity in his delivery that is hard for other slam poets to emulate.
I met Derrick Brown when he toured Flagstaff in 2001 and I have seen him on stage a few times since. In 2003, I gave him a sofa on which to crash for three days during a tour through the Phoenix area. He gave one of the best features I have ever seen in Flagstaff around 2005.
Azami has recently discovered his tracks on my iPod and fallen in love with them, specifically "The Kurosawa Champagne" and "A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me."
The Kurosawa Champagne
By Derrick Brown
your body shook,
hurling your nightmares
back to Cambodia.
Your nightgown wisped off
into Ursula Minor.
I was left here on earth feeling alone,
paranoid about the Rapture.
I think it is safe to say we drank too much.
Must I apologize for the volume in my slobber?
Must I apologize for the best dance moves ever?
Booze is my tuition to clown college.
I swung at your purse.
It was staring at me.
We swerved home on black laughter.
bleeding from forgettable boxing.
I asked you to sleep in the shape of a trench
so that I might know shelter.
I drew the word surrender in the mist of your breath,
waving a white sheet around your body.
‘Dear, in the morning let me put on your make-up for you.
I’ll be loading your gems with mascara
then I’ll tell you the truth…’
I watched black ropes and tears ramble down your face.
Lady war paint.
A squad of tiny men rappels down those snaking lines
and you say;
“Thank you for releasing all those fuckers from my life.”
You have a daily pill case.
There are no pills inside.
It holds the ashes of people who died
…the moment they saw you.
The cinema we built was to play the greats
but we could never afford the power
so in the dark cinema
you painted pictures of Kurosawa.
I just stared at you like Orson Welles,
getting fat off your style.
You are a movie that keeps exploding.
You are Dante’s fireplace.
We were so broke,
I’d pour tap water into your mouth,
burp against your lips
so you could have champagne.
You love champagne.
Sparring in the candlelight.
the mathematical equivalent of a woman’s beauty
is directly relational
to the amount or degree
other women hate her.
You, dear, are hated.
Your boots are a soundtrack to adultery.
Thank God your feet fall in the rhythm of loyalty.
If this kills me,
slice me julienne
uncurl my veins
and fashion yourself a noose
so I can hold you
Derrick Brown, a former paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne, gondolier, magician and fired weatherman, now travels the world and performs his written work. From Nashville, he is dedicated to bringing American poetry into rock and roll status.
And, yes, he was a weatherman in Flagstaff ...
Brown has consistently been the opening act for Indie rock act, Cold War Kids and has been booked with The White Stripes and performed with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. His work has been featured in books with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Viggo Mortensen, Jeff Buckley and Jim Carrol.
As one of the most original and well-traveled writer/performers in the country, Brown has gained a cult following for his poetry performances all over the United States. and through Europe. A poetic terrorism group has taken to sticking and tagging his metaphors across the globe.
To date, Brown has performed at over 1,200 venues and universities internationally including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, La Sorbonne in Paris and The Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City.
Known for a moving show that incorporates spoken word, minimalist music, and even sound effects, Brown is unique for being an outstanding performer but is foremost a page poet. He has won the California Independent Book Critics' Award in 2004, and his performance poetry has won six first-place poetry slam finishes in Venice Beach, England, and Germany.
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.