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.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"The Drunk Guy’s Dick" by Mikel Weisser

"The Drunk Guy’s Dick"
By Mikel Weisser, of Kingman

Written March 14, 2009,
read at the Sedona Poetry Slam
on Saturday, March 20

So,
We see this drunk guy
Fucked up
And there he is
Pissing against the wall

Understand,
It’s New Year’s Eve
And it’s right at midnight
And our evening of party has fallen to fighting
And right at the stroke too,
Right at the stroke
So we go outside for air
And there’s this drunk guy
And the drunk guy’s dick

Understand
It’s not just any old wall
And not just any old time
He’s two feet from the front door
Of this crowded downtown bar
And it’s midnight + 30 seconds
The first new minute
Of the New Year 2005
And he’s pissing right at us
It’s splashing on our shoes

Happy Fucking New Year and all that

As I remember it now
And I do remember it
Now and again
I remember we were fighting
Did a lot of it that night
Don’t remember much else of the evening
But I do remember the drunk guy’s dick

Which is kind of annoying

That puff of graying copper wool bursting out of the jean vagina
The nodes and veins
The black of his nails
The way the 2 finger hold of his
Failed to steady the hose
And the shadow on the shaft between them
That odd angle of the Moyle’s work

The arching steam
Neoned globules
Sprinkled into the pavement in a fog
The intensity of his exhale as he released

Huh!

His eyes were closed in concentration’
It may’ve been the best feeling of his entire life
Meanwhile it’s downtown in a state capital on New Year’s, you know?
Cars were cruising by honking
Yelling about New Year’s
Squealing at the guy’s dick
Understand,
It’s Springfield , Illinois
Land of Lincoln, 5 blocks from Lincoln’s house,
3 blocks from the capital itself
It is right at the cusp
Of the next new era

And we’re dodging flying urine

Meanwhile the guy’s stream has reverse tributaried
Into several simultaneous vigorous channels
Blocking the sidewalk better than
Police crime scene tape.
The rivulets are rippling around
Cigarettes and holiday confetti

And those dirty fingernails
That endless urine stream
It must have been a 12-pack
It might’ve been gallons
It might’ve been better measured in acre feet per minute

And it froze me,
I was fixated
And at some point he sensed our staring
“Well, don’t just stand there looking.
What’s wrong with you people?”

He squinted harder and gave his stream more force

“Wrong with us?
You’re the one with your dick out
In the middle of the street.”

“Didn’t tell ya you had to watch”
He blinked once and then kept going

Meanwhile she was gone.

Saw her up the street
Snapped out of it
And walked on
Remembered we were fighting

I saw my wife walk away from me
While I tried to hopscotch through his tributaries
But I didn’t make it
I jerked and spasmed
To shake his pee off of me
And followed her into the darkening New Year night
While his bladder kept splattering
In the distance

And as I tried to follow my wife
As she kept receding
I kept remembering the drunk guy’s dick
And wondering why
I kept remembering the drunk guy’s dick
And what kind of a year
This kind of omen meant

The next day we were wary
And silent except for apologies to each other
We flew on home
And two weeks later
To the day
I picked up the phone and
Her mom was gone
And the world as we knew it ended then

Oh, we stumbled back to the town where the year had started
And things just kept dribbling downhill
By spring the estate was an uproar
By summer the money was gone
By fall they were taking our house
By December my wife took her life.

I woke one Saturday to find her dead and warm
In my arms
Her red-purple rose of lividity
Spread across her lower face
Like a drunk woman beaten
And her panties soaked somewhat
As her sleep slipped into something deeper

By New Year’s Eve I was broke from buying her funeral
And the lawyers and I
Were negotiating my upcoming eviction
I was returning from yet another trip to Springfield
And yet another funeral
I’d driven all day and into the night
The evening blurred into miles
Racing across the desert dark
Heading back home to a home
That was soon to not be mine
Mile after mile driving ‘home’ that way
Till somewhere west of Williams
I saw the apparition of a woman
White dress, white puppy, book in her hand
Splotched snow framing
The way her dress whipped in the wind
No coat, no hat, no luggage
Just ambling down the road
Lost in the middle of the darkness

I stopped and waited till she drifted to the truck
We hardly spoke the next 100 miles
She sold me her book for a twenty dollar bill
It was a battered old copy of “Pilgrim’s Progress,”
But not $20.00 worth of old
I’ve yet to open it to this day

I sat in my darkened living room
In time for my new year’s eve minute
I said nothing at all
There was no one to talk to

And now days the year of 2005 is long dead
And largely buried
In the ongoing stream of time
Most of the year is lost to me now
The way a charred trunk
Leaves only the barest hint
Of the tree it once might have been

Shards of events come back sometimes
The purple rose of that Dec. morning
Most present
Amid the random moments of watching
The life I had known be washed away
And the black under the fingernails
That wrapped round that drunk’s dick
Those lively yellow tributaries
That worked their ways to the gutter

And the taste of the instant I thought
What’s it going to mean
This drunk guy pissing on my New Year
And the forever wishing I had caught
The look on my wife’s face
As she stared
Before she started off into the night
That instant when she stepped across those streams of urine
And into her last New Year.

Mikel Weisser © 2010

From Mikel Weisser's "Over This Mountain"
Available for $10 from:
Cohillican Productions
4490 Sundown Drive, So-Hi, AZ 86413
yzurthemepark@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"The New Material" by Mikel Weisser

"The New Material"
By Mikel Weisser, of Kingman

Written Sept. 7, 2000,
read at the Sedona Poetry Slam
on Saturday, March 20

Last night
I dreamt a group of scientists announced the development of a new material,
one that was all style and no substance.
Odorless, colorless, tasteless,
each of those things and yet none.
All style and no substance,
the implications were immense.

Immediately an investigation was begun to establish the practical applications.
I was called on to be part of the team installed to exploit
the unlimited possibilities of a material that was
all style and no substance.
And though I knew there were several of us on the team
I never saw anyone else’s face.

Of course, at first, we worked to apply the new material to its most logical application:
advertising.
It was the breakthrough we’d all been waiting for.
All style, no substance.
We could make a burger that glistened on the screen and touched the eternal longing to be filled,
yet left no cholesterol or mustard stain,
a car that felt as powerful as a five foot penis,
yet would not pollute nor deposit road kill,
a blond to make you buy diamonds and feel desired
yet offered no morning after after taste of age.

We sold cities to country folk, pastoral scenes to subway dwellers
and no one had to leave their one place to be the other,
for it was just a matter of style, not substance.
We sold intelligence to fools
and ignorance to the blissed
yet neither was stuck with the sense of responsibilities therein implied,
for it was merely a matter of style, not substance.
We sold cyber-sex to the celibate, strength to the weak
and non-dairy low-fat whipped topping to those who felt unadorned.
We dressed it up as everything, and it was loved by everyone,
and all of them clamored for more, more, more
and we gave it and gave it, and gave,
and it was never too much,
because it was all style and no substance.

So we tried to apply it in music
Size 4 singers in size 14 jeans wrapped their tonsils ’round it and poked out their belly buttons with pride.
Booming thugs puffed up their chests and clutched their 9s as if it were their crotches and bellowed how the material embodied their absolute essence without even requiring them to say “motherfucker,” as they swigged on their gin and juice.
Razor edged haircuts moshed each other into angst ridden pulp to vie for the honor of hammering home its three chords.

We tried it everywhere and soon it was everything.
All style and no substance, all style and no substance.
It was the mantra of our century.
It was at last a voice of reason.
And as I kept saying “we” I knew I kept knowing “I..”
I ogled the material, and coveted it, and felt shamed before its truth.
I praised it, I lusted it, I worshiped its freedom from failure, its purity beyond judgment.

Slowly and slowly I crowded the others out;
slowly and slowly I embraced and embodied the material.
Always to be in fashion, never to be found lacking.
All style and no substance,
always to feel my full fat face and never my emptying soul.
All style and no substance,
Slowly and slowly the institute faded,
and the world faded and eventually even the material faded and there was just me:
all style and no substance,
Just me and my mirror, all style and no substance.
just me and ever death closing in from the one side,
just me and ever life slinking off in the other.
All style and no substance,

Just me and the mirror, all style and no substance,
all style and no substance.
Just me and I cried and I reached and I woke—

and as I rose in my terrors I knew that that dream was truth,
for there I was in my mirror still.

Mikel Weisser © 2000

From Mikel Weisser's "A Simple Calendar"
Available from:
Cohillican Productions
4490 Sundown Drive, So-Hi, AZ 86413
yzurthemepark@gmail.com

FoxThePoet ranked No. 3 of "100 Best Poetry Blogs"

I got a nice e-mail on Sunday, March 21, ranking me No. 3 of the top 100 poetry-related blogs, above About.com and a New York Times poetry blog ... sweet. Many of these blogs also include great links to others' work:

Hi,
We posted an article, "100 Best Poetry Blogs." I just thought I'd share it with you in case you thought it would appeal to your readers. I am happy to let you know that your site has been included in this list.
Thanks for time!
Emma Taylor
Poetry Basics


Poets have been some of the most respected and lauded writers in the past and even today hold a special place in society as they speak at inaugurations, commencements and special lectures. Whether you’re an aspiring poet, a college student or just someone who loves a good verse, you’ll find a range of poetry related help, information and inspiration on these blogs. Check them out to see what other poets are up to or just to learn more about the craft.

These blogs will teach you about poetry and help you keep up with poetry related news.

  1. Poetry Hut: Find your poetry-related news here.
  2. Poetry Dispatch: Check out this site to learn more about poetry events and poets to watch.
  3. Fox the Poet: This poet talks about his own work as well as poetry events and writing on his blog.
  4. About.com Poetry: This blog is a great reference tool for learning about poems and poets and writing your own work.
  5. Paper Cuts: Visit this New York Times blog to hear about the latest poetry book releases.
  6. Harriet the Blog: Visit this blog to hear about the Poetry Foundation’s events and projects.
  7. Poetic Asides: Get insights into the process of creating good poetry with the help offered here.
  8. Topics and Events: Follow this blog to learn about poetry and arts events posted by writer Alfred Corn.


Check out the entire list on 100 Best Poetry Blogs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last Grand Canyon Stop: The Watchtower at Desert View

The interior of the Watchtower
Desert View point
Looking toward Cardenas Butte and the Grand Canyon
We're in the shadow
Looking north toward Utah

Another lonely tree watching over the canyon

Looking east
From the observation walkout. Our last stop before heading home to Sedona. About 4 hours along the rim.

Navajo Point

Navajo Point

Cardenas Butte

Azami photographed this lonely tree from Navajo Point



Looking toward our final stop, the Watchtower at Desert View.

Lipan Point at the Grand Canyon

North from Lipan Point
NNW
NNE
The Colorado River is down there somewhere


The dark-walled canyon in the distance is more than 1,000 feet deep, deeper than most other canyons in the world, but dwarfed by the 5,000 deep Grand Canyon.
We're in the shadow, waving.

Grand Canyon's Grandview Point

Looking down into Grapevine Gorge



Lyell Butte

Azami at Grandview Point





The rocks where the ravens gather at Grandview Point

Azami at Grandview

I look ridiculous in Azami's winter hat.

The ravens flying high above Grandview Point

Azami and I at Pipe Creek Vista


Pipe Creek Vista
Azami at Pipe Creek Vista
Pipe Creek Vista
Looking toward Yaki Point and the South Kaibab Trailhead

Practicing my three karate stances:
1) The Crane

2) The Chicken

3) The Turkey

Enjoying the Grand Canyon

Other tourists complimented Azami's choice of early-morning wear.
The sun rising higher
The 500-foot cliff beneath Mather Point
The view toward Phantom Ranch
East toward Yaki Point

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Azami and I visit the Grand Canyon

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon on Saturday, March 20
Azami and I camped out in the bed of my Chevy and woke just before sunrise. I look like a marshmallow.
I am not a morning person
However, Azami is a morning person.
The first view of the Grand Canyon from Mather Point
And the sunrise over the canyon rim.
Azami enjoying the sunrise
Mather Point
CFG in the sunrise
Giving the famous "Nicholas Graham grin"