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, August 25, 2011

"Walking," by Maple Dewleaf

"Walking," by Maple Dewleaf, second round poem in the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, July 30, 2011.

by Maple Dewleaf
from his chapbook "Any Given Sandbox"

There are people out there walking down the street with no other obligation than to walk down the street. But nowadays most people walk a different beat.
Personalities swearing important without the individuality to back it up.
Now back it up.
There’s people walking right outside on the street, don’t have the money to pay for food or shoes on their feet.
And you’re paying for four wall leash padlocks, weaves of chain tying you to your houses that are thicker than Caribbean dreadlocks.
I saw a kid asking people for the definition of value, spreading puzzled faces and deep thought thicker than forest fires.
And you’re still wearing leashes.
As companies like leeches pull the sweat and blood out of your bodies so they run million-dollar cruises, trading paperwork to ensure a little boy in sweatshop’s bruises.
To find relaxation, and you let them relax. But you see their leashes.
You have the golden opportunity to look at this society’s foundation, laugh and walk away.
Instead you knuckle white force a smile
And keep working
To get you dollars
Just so you can turn around and hand them back.
Your morning alarm is becoming the sound of a whip crack.
Now take it a few steps back.
Deep in almost everybody’s brain there is a train track.
Following machines?
You trust just what’s fact.
You are a human, you breathe, you sleep, eat drink, and can think,
If you want.
Every lock has a key that you hold,
but your never gonna open a thing doing just what your told.
Perhaps stepping out of routine for you now is, only as far as peeping out a keyhole.
And moving towards, removing toward, removing things like starbucks out of your diet
Is where your at right now.
That’s alright,
All the trails we will ever know, start off with baby shoes and rough
Copyright 2011 © Maple Dewleaf Nic Griffin

Maple Dewleaf
Photo courtesy of Tara Graeber 
Maple Dewleaf 
Born of the smoggy heart of Texas the youngest brother of five to a single mother, Maple Dewleaf was brought into this world a free spirit. As a child he would spend most of his time barefoot and in the forests of Northern Arizona. To this day Huckleberry Finn remains his biggest hero.

He became a significant member of Flagstaff’s poetry slam at the age of 16 while experiencing a slight case of house arrest fever. Having first hitched a ride at the age of 13, swears to this day the best way to catch a ride is to look very undetermined but still focused on something just over the horizon of view.

Dewleaf has worked as a grocery bagger, fence painter, fast-food cook, fry-cook, door installer, the wise hippie janitor of a truck stop, and various street side attractions including musician with classically trained vocals, alleyway poet, psychedelic amusement and $5 dare-taker extraordinaire.

At the ripe old age of almost 20 years, he was given the greatest gift he ever received: Wildflower Clementine, his beautiful daughter. Most days Maple can be found meditating with his gorgeous wife, whom he would crawl hands and knees through barrel cactuses for: Patches Dewleaf and little baby Wildflower, in the hidden woods of Anywhere, America.

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