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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Line in the Sands," by nodalone


"Line in the Sands," by nodalone aka Shaun Srivastava, third round poem in the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, July 30, 2011.

"Line in the Sands"
by nodalone 
from the 2011 FlagSlam National Poetry Slam team chapbook "Gossamer Outrage"


At this very moment
in this great state of Arizona
we have congressmen sipping brandy
out of crystal clear snifters with white supremacists
up in Kingman
correlating Mexicans with empty bunk beds
in private prisons that haven’t even been built yet

laughing amongst themselves
comparing the thread counts in their satin sheet disguise
while their allegedly more educated children size up
ivory husk flecked business cards on wall street
and strategize
on how to sell credit default swaps and derivatives
and scams as grand as Egyptian pyramids
trying to tell college kids
staying up all night searching for scholarships
that the “American Dream”
is still alive
even though we can’t seem to escape the fact that it reeks
of formaldehyde

all while the powers that be perpetrate “patriotic ideas”
like repealing the 14th Amendment
to better protect the American public
from the imminent tidal wave
of little brown “anchor babies” and such nasty liberal tactics
as the “Dream Act” that they fancy to frame in a Pandora’s Box called amnesty

so what does one power broker of cultural purity say to the other?
“oh. I know,
we’ll call it SB 1070”
better get your papers, please
matter of fact I think this is a fake ID
step outta the car, Pedro, and get down on your fucking knees
start praying to that blond-haired
blue-eyed Jesus the same way
Governor Jan Brewer does every night before she slips off into her sweet slumber
resting comfortably on her California King sleep number
tallying migrant worker fatalities like counting sheep
before they’re sent off to slaughter

it’s time to tell our “glorious” war hero of a senator
that this country will not be reduced to Berlin
in the mid 1980s
metal walls and electric fences need only be reserved for cattle in this country
you would think that John McCain would be able to better understand
what it means
to be wrongfully imprisoned
simply for crashing in another man’s land

what was that he said again?
“finish the dang fence already?”
desperately pandering to
hypermedicated
understimulated
overweight
postmenopausal baby boomer blank faces
hiding behind the thick irony of straw gardening hats used to lynch Lipton tea bags
who can’t even navigate their way through a subway to order a ham sandwich

so who you gonna stand with?
NPG Cable and Cox Communications don’t collectively control enough
bandwidth
and there are not enough like-minded activists in this great state
to halt the implementation
of this blatantly racist legislative injustice

how much longer must we wait?
until we see Sheriff Joe Arpaio
dressed in standard-issue
Maricopa County pink jumpsuits sporting
stainless steel shackles enraged
developing strain polyps encaged
behind miles and miles of 20-foot tall chain-link fences

why don’t we just erase the border altogether
and sever the umbilical cord that is funneling federal funding
to that double-wide tractor trailer mechanical combine
of ignorance and hate
that is raping lady liberty and get back to
what that statue on Ellis Island really means

to be that faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel
for those families willing to risk their lives
so their children can grow up to one day realize
that opportunity
is more than that just an abstract term in the middle of an English dictionary

so why does it seem so quiet?
you should be rocking back and forth red in the face and screaming
hell, you’re already on top of the mountain
why don’t you go home and
Google Jim Crow and
come back next week and start shouting

because you see the truth is
history …
is gonna judge our generation
not by what we believed in,
but by what we didn’t.

Copyright 2011 © nodalone Shaun Srivastava




nodalone
Photo courtesy of Tara Graeber
nodalone 
Originally from East Lansing, Mich., Shaun Srivastava, aka nodalone, moved to Flagstaff in 2008 to attend Northern Arizona University.

While quietly writing poetry for many years, nodalone has only recently begun performing his spoken word at slams and various events throughout Arizona.

Preferring to use his platform to address current political, cultural, and social issues, the poet gives a performance that captures the power of the issue in a personal and passionate style.

He will complete degrees in both exercise science and psychology in 2012, with plans to pursue a master’s degree in psychology.

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