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.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Rhetoric," by nodalone

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

By nodalone

Photo courtesy of Tara Graeber
It’s three grand a plate
At a private estate
For a two-hour conservative ladies’ luncheon
For new up-and-comers
That reads
“Plus one” on the invitation
It’s stepping up and carving out your own pound of flesh
It’s cheeky bumper stickers in succession until they’re finally convinced
It’s a little black cocktail dress with stilettos and fishnets
Its sephora war paint skepticism
It’s a bastardized and perpetually rewritten religion
It’s a brand of polyamorous submission so private
They don’t even let God listen in
It’s warmed over and well-dressed aggression
It’s xenophobic
Head in the sand
Ass up ostrich resentment
It’s a black president
It’s young male Muslims in a Lexus
It’s your own
Gas guzzling
However thinly veiled distorted American reflection
In a roadside rest stop mirror
Playing kabuki theater with inarticulate
And confederate fears
It’s letting you think
That this time around
You’re actually gonna get a chance to steer
It’s blank checks made payable to national ignorance
It’s one dollar scratch-off lottery fingertips
It’s working class subdivision cul-de-sac competition
Its midday, Midtown Manhattan
And the living ghost off a broke Annie Leibovitz
Muttering to herself
“what the hell just happened?”
It’s every last fanatic in Westboro, Kansas
Googling Ayn Rand
Pistol gripping the fading light of white male protestant privilege
It’s the latest
Cable news hit list
It’s Clear Channels’ 24-hour commitment to bearing false witness
It’s buy the ticket
Spin the wheel insanity
It’s cardboard cutout Christianity
Meets David Copperfield kind of clarity
Permanent marker restroom crucifix comparisons
Swearing it’s the end of days
Praying your FaceBook
Crosshair topography conjures
Dueling Pennsylvania Avenue hand cannon
Constitutional revolution
It’s no longer innuendo
When your district representative
Has a handful of bullet holes through their front window
Yet when said rhetoric gets manifested in northwest Tucson
At about 10 a.m. on the second Saturday in January
Politics turns to puddles of platelets
In a department store parking lot
reflecting the irony of a red sign reading
Within hours Jared Loughner was stuffed
Into a little metal coffin labeled
“deranged lone gunman”
Who had a hard-on for one Arizona congresswoman
It’s clearly not an act of terror
There’s no evidence to suggest
That her extended magazine trephining
Was in any way
Politically motivated
Nor a function of a certain contemporary
Brand of Republican rhetoric
Let’s not even dare postulate
As to the young man’s leanings
And ideologies
No, see
She’s just the latest
In a long
seemingly continuous list
of victimized innocence
at the hands of some suburban kid’s
empty existential crisis
consigning patriotism for racism
at a gun show at three-fifths the price
recycled arguments and incessant
Second Amendment references
their rhetoric remains infectious
as it falls on the ears of clear
and cloudy minds alike
but in this country
the difference between a sick kid
and a terrorist
is that one of those guys is white.

Copyright 2011 © nodalone Shaun Srivastava


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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