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, November 18, 2010

Lexington, Bull Run and Live on CNN

Lexington, Bull Run and Live on CNN
By Christopher Fox Graham

America, the absent-minded lover
who forgets your name in the ambivalence of night
doubts the pressure pressed gently to it yesterday was worth remembering today
America, you drunk rapist of suburban children
seeking to know your currents
pull themselves higher to see the view
know the far side of your hulk

you, America, show shadows of past days
bring down the cultural acme
to a level you can conduct with a symphony of fools playing off and out of meter
you, America, want us to love you
and your ideals that you stopped practicing
long before most of us came here,
you want us to love you
the way you were
and ignore the bombs of contempt and leaflets
dropped on Americans who just haven't moved here yet

you, America
with your blind eyes and traffic stops
with your breathalyzers of dissidents
shatter our hopes with your material wealth
and the need to make more

you draw in our children with your Technicolor dreamscapes
teach them that 2-D television love lives
can fill the void we feel
by not reaching out to feel our neighbors hands
call 9-1-1 instead of showing up
to speak some next-door words

you, America, that forbids our secret pleasures
from leaving us happy for a night
let us damn ourselves if you believe in the freedom
with which our ancestors built you
let go of wrists because these nations' hands
have empires to wreck
and men to free
we have lovers to swoon
and stars to call our own
without the cataloging of spheres of gases

we have dreams of starlight
to worship lovers beneath
without the fist fall of your suspicions
let us alone, America,
you redneck whore,
you control freak with good intentions
our way to hell is paved with your statutes
that enforce the will of do-nothing meat puppets
instead of letting the artists
live for art's sake
and drag the moonlight out into day
name the blind sun with our own tongue
and kiss the clouds into tomorrow

you, America, the destroyer of worlds
the doom of dreams
leaving broken roads not taken
through yellow woods unseen
bought with slaves wages

we will resist you
cap your mountains with our footfalls
bring down the gates of mud
and bury them for peach tree orchards

you, America, may doom us one by one
but the enumeration of our mysteries
will hopscotch through our daughters' minds
raise the sons
to raise the armies to resist you
tear down the towers
overlooking our prison camp daymares
America, we love you
but you do very bad things
no man or thing is evil
but actions may be
and sometimes crimes deserve just punishment
when too many have been broken

we, America, your sons and daughters, lay broken
but we won't here long
soon we'll rise
it will only take a moment
when one swift kick in the ribs
proves one too many
and we retake our place
and the bearers of freedom
the entrepreneurs of artistry
one more artist with shotgun dentistry
one more ghetto enclave to genocide the unwanted
one unlucky fuck who gets too close to the riot line
and takes a round on live network daytime TV
one martyr who didn't want to be
to raise the call in us
get us to pull each other up by the bootstraps
and bring down the highjackers of our grand experiment
and make you remember that you
are ours
we are not yours

you, America,
you were a republic once
and a republic can last forever,
but empires, all empires
must one day fall

I wrote and performed this poem tonight for the Sedona Visual Artists Coalition's "PATHWAYS...A Visual Journey" show in the Tlaquepaque Sala de la Milagro ballroom.


Anonymous said...

British isn't my main language, but I can fully understand this when using the google translator. Beneficial publish, keep these things coming! Warm regards!

Paul Gazda said...

I was unable to attend the poetry slam at the PATHWAYS show, but have read your poem here. Very powerful. I'm happy to see this synergy from one artist to another and one medium to another. Thank you for your poem!