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.

Monday, June 7, 2010

She Begs for Poetry

from 3,000 miles away
she begs for poetry
— words swallowed deep in heavy stanzas
articulating how her absent arms
strip me bare despite cotton and self-delusion
— puns toying on lips of pop culture references
she doesn’t grasp without footnotes
— confessions flaying flesh from my bones
so she can see the man beneath this stone exterior
has a heartbeat instead of a CPU

she begs for poetry
but those written for previous lovers sound unfaithful
infidelity captured in verse
with other couples, a wayward glance ignites a riot
because the surface is what matters
with other couples, a night enveloped in strangers hips
instigates marital estrangement
because loins encapsulate intentions
for us, looks and skins are immaterial matters
it’s the words that carry weight,
the emancipation of verse from darkness
pulling verbs and nouns from thin air
to best articulate the rhythm of hearts caught in the moment
our wedding bands come in rhyming couplets

in pauses I can close my eyes and chart the road
GoogleEarth highway curves from my Arizona doorstep
over the interstates
past county gas stations
under Western skies
leap borders in migratory bird fashion
to find her hobo fingers grasping a payphone receiver
at the Civic Center in Prince George, British Columbia
where she hangs onto every syllable like scripture
remembers how the psalms of slam bring salvation

she is a pilgrim remembering home before the crusade
yearning for comforts of a familiar tongue
before the next day calls her to confront the infidels
whatever she believes them to be:
the civilized world armed beneath its new colonial flags
of corporate logos and AK-47s in the hands of children,
laissez-faire consumerism oblivious to strip mines and contaminated rivers,
or the suburban dream of white picket fences and police state insecurities,
— she plants trees to save the Earth one shovelful at a time
build a new world she wants to live in
painting the skies in banners of poetry
and I am an arrogant boy inflating his ego in this silly metaphor
when the truth is
she misses the home we’ve built here
she yearns to sleep in, beneath satin sheets
long after I have left for work
she aches for the shelter of my broken limbs
learning to trust in human touch
after so many years pushing it away
she craves to again tear me down to build me up
remanufacture me into a Lee Majors worth admiring
— and I’m certain I’ll have to explain who he is

she begs for poetry
anything my fingers have scribbled will do,
but I search for the poems I wrote to remember her
when I thought she left my chapters
before she returned for the sequel
with newly enhanced superpowers and a rebooted backstory

these words aren’t wholly mine,
they fluttered in anticipation of her arrival
so she’d know me as kindred
without having to try so hard
because I still mistake women’s advances
for an awkwardness to fill time
and stumble over my own intentions
without a screenplay to dictate the scenes
from “hello” to “please stay the night”

she begs for poetry
and I offer what I’m able
stretch my arms across this continent
fold our points together the way starships do
read poems that bring her back into my bed
when I would recite them before lights out
and we’d scoop stars by the shared spoonful
I give her the poems I have at my fingertips
until she returns to touch them with her own
I would cut open my brow again
and spill out poetry like a head wound
if it brought her home any faster
but patience is a virtue, they say
absence makes the heart grow fonder
all good things come to those who wait
and clichés pacify aching lovers
who quote them rather than go on killing sprees

she begs for poetry through my lips
I beg for her and the poems born on hers

1 comment:

Anissa said...

Well done, as always.