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.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"A Simple Poem" by Emanuel Xavier

A Simple Poem
By Emanuel Xavier
from "Bullets & Butterflies: queer spoken word poetry"

I want you to continue writing
because I will not always be around

With lips that will never touch mine
read your poems out loud
so that the words are left engraved on the wall
make me feel your voice rush through me
like a breeze from Oyá

I want to hear about Puerto Rico
about sisters with names like La Bruja
about educating youth about AIDS
I want to hear about life in the Boogie Down Bronx
surviving on the Down Low
don't leave out stories about men
you have loved and still love

I want you to write poems that you will never read
press hard on the paper so that the ink runs deep
hold the pen tight so that you control the details
prove to me that I inspire you
reveal yourself between the lines
hear my praise with each flicker of the candle
Write a poem for me

Do not choose a fresh page from a brand new journal
use paper that has been crumbled and tossed
thrown out by a spineless father only to be recycled
Save a tree for future poets to write under

Rewrite me into someone more attractive
stronger than life has made me
make me tough and sexy, aggressive like a tiger
stain the pages with cum, lube, the arousal you find
at the sight of naked boys, draw me sketches
bring the words to life with images
make me a man with this poem

Read it in front of the audience
with hidden messages just for me
be real and tell me why
I am only worth a haiku

Your epics are meant for others
I already know,
use red ink to match the blood from these wounds
with brutal honesty
let me die with your last sentence

Then resurrect me with rhyme
read from your gut
let me hear the wisdom of mi abuelo in your voice
let me find my father in you
remind me of all the men that left me broken promises

In your eyes I want to see a poem
when you bring me to tears
with painful memories
buried beneath your thick skin

Between teeth gapped like divas,
I want to hear quotes from books
I never read

Make me believe you want to be a poet

Make my heart break,
tell me why you could never love me
with just a few words
leave me lost and insecure
feel the admiration of others
bask in their desire
forget that I am there

Pound your fists in the air with passion
go off about politics, poverty, machismo and hate
scream poems that don't give a fuck
about traditions, slamming or scores
save your whispers for those who make love to you

Write a poem for me that makes me want to puff a joint

A poem that loses control
unafraid to be vulnerable
for once just make me believe
it is all worth letting go
when the smoke clears
I will understand
the reason
I am just another face
in the crowd

I want you to continue writing
because I will not always be around

Copyright © Emanuel Xavier

Emanuel Xavier is an American poet, spoken word artist, author, editor, literary events curator, and actor born and raised in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a significant voice to emerge from the Nuyorican poetry movement using political, sexual and religious themes throughout his work. His background is Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian.

He self-published his debut poetry collection, Pier Queen, in the fall of 1997 through his own independent publishing house, Pier Queen Productions.

Signature poems such as "Bushwick Bohemia," "Deliverance," "Every Latino," "Nueva York" and "Tradiciones" helped him gain notoriety in New York City's underground arts scene.

In 1998, with the support of Willi Ninja and spoken word poetry icon Bob Holman,
Xavier founded the House of Xavier and created the annual Glam Slam competition. Held once a year, first at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and then at Bowery Poetry Club, the poetry slam competition featured four open categories such as Best Erotic Poem in Sexy Underwear or Lingerie.

Winners of each category received a trophy and went on to compete for the Grand Prize title of Glam Slam Champion. The event aspired to bring together poetry slams and ball culture in a unique and vibrant contribution to the downtown arts scene.

In 2008, after a decade of staging the annual House of Xavier's Glam Slam spoken word poetry competition in NYC, he passed the torch over to Basque/Spanish performance poet, Ernesto Sarezale, who introduced the event to a London audience at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in the United Kingdom.

The poetry collection "Americano," his first official publication, was released by Suspect Thoughts Press in 2002 and helped establish Xavier as a figure in the people of color literary arts movement with signature poems such as "Children of Magdalene", "Nearly God" and the title poem.

In 2005, Suspect Thoughts Press published "Bullets & Butterflies: queer spoken word poetry," a collection Xavier edited. The anthology featured the work of 13 openly queer spoken word artists and new work by the editor himself including: "Legendary", "Outside" and "A Simple Poem."
He has been featured on television on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO, In The Life on PBS and hosted several editions of Out At The Center on Manhattan Neighborhood Network. He also appears in the Wolfgang Busch documentary "How Do I Look."

In 2005, he co-starred in his first acting role in the independent feature film, The Ski Trip. In 2008, he appeared in The Cult of Sincerity, which later aired on PBS.
In 2008, an invitation-only online literary journal sponsored by U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included him as a contributor to an international project. He was also invited to select finalists for Best Gay Erotica 2008.

In the fall of 2008, Floricanto Press published "Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry," a collection which he edited featuring the work of 17 fellow queer Latino poets. This would be one of the first books ever to gather the work of openly queer poets from the Latino community.

In 2009, his poem, "Urban Affection", was commissioned by a private collector of Walt Whitman memorabilia for the 190th birthday anniversary of Whitman.

In spring of 2009, Rebel Satori Press published a revised 10th anniversary edition of his semi-autobiographical novel, "Christ Like." The novel description is as follows: Mikey is a spirited but self-destructive survivor of sexual abuse, a gay Latino native New Yorker caught somewhere between Catholic guilt and club kid decadence looking to fit in as part of a family. Instead, Mikey delves into a demimonde of petty thieves, prostitutes, and pushers. Haunted by a father that Mikey has never met, a difficult childhood, recurring nightmares, the reality of death, and Christ, the story unfolds through the
80’s and 90’s following him on his journey through a fascinating world filled with Santeros, transsexuals and voguing queens.

Xavier has received the Marsha A. Gomez Cultural Heritage Award, a New York City Council Citation and is a 2008 World Pride Award recipient. In 2009, he was named one of the "25 Most Influential GLBT Latinos" by Mi Apogeo. He performs regularly throughout the United States as a spoken word artist and has also featured internationally in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Ghent, Belgium.

"Legendary- The Spoken Word Poetry of Emanuel Xavier", a spoken word/music collaboration with producer, El David, was released in the Winter of 2009/2010 featuring the bonus track, "Legendary (The E-Mix)." "Legendary (The Re-Mixes)" was released Spring 2010 by Hades Music on Masterbeats featuring remixes by Michael Hades, Tim Letteer, Lorant Duzgun, and El David.

Jesus Were Gay & other poems was published by Rebel Satori Press in Spring 2010.

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