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, April 24, 2011

"Checkmates" a new film by the Upright Citizens Brigade


I'd pay to see this spoof trailer greenlit into a feature film.

Of course, I grew rereading a book of chess every few months (I think it might have been "Judgment and Planning in Chess" by Max Euwe), recording games with algebraic chess notation and playing for money in high school ....

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Wino's Memories

A Wino's Memories

The Wine, by deviantART user juletjess
at the bottom
of wine bottles in the kitchen
hide misplaced memories
those drained, hold relived sins
the unopened ones swallow thoughts of her
swimming in scarlet-violet soup
grapes drowned into sweet poison
each swig pulls me back to her
while killing a little more
recalled kisses stain lips
the weeping remembrances afterward
make driving while under her influence
an arrestable hazard when
Bereaved Aortic Collapse
rises above 0.08 percent

napping in a bottle of Chilean Bordeaux
are roadtrips when I held her snoring on my thigh
beneath high desert nights
along a blacked-out highway
cruising above safe speed limits

resting in the green glass of Moscato d'Asti
her laughter at bad jokes at my expense
when her reverberations
could shake this empty bedroom
scattering inhibitions from my skin

Near the neck of a narrow Napa Pinot Noir
are all the words I spoke
when I thought she was listening
when instead she was just drunk on the sound of my voice
and whatever vocabulary spilled forth
was vacant of content but rich in tone

in the base of cheap Boone’s Farm
is the bruise she left after hitting me
for teasing her too unsympathetically
I drink it knowing
it gives me a headache by midnight and the day after

hiding in the depths of a Beaujolais Rosé
are mornings when I should have risen
but stayed longer and longer in bed
to hold her snoozing brilliance
outshining morning sunrises

behind the label of Wakayama Ume
are the sweetest moments
only suitable for the poetry held private
sent only to her and burned thereafter
you will have to pry me from the grave for those

swimming in Argentinian Malbec
are her stories of cities I’ve never seen
the feel of cobblestone stained with peasant mud
echoes of foreign tongues bartering wares
and revolutionaries’ martyred blood

in the unopened, overly large Mosel Riesling,
is the promise that she would return
when all the quantum equations of quarks and photons
conspired with gravitons and gluons
to nudge her back into my arms
it remains uncorked until she meets me
but I may be buried with it someday

if one could slice open these veins
vines have stained burgundy my blood-red tributaries
I don’t have enough winekeys in this house
to drown in her
so I uncork the moments one by one
swallow them in short glasses
lose coherence in the overswelling libations
pulling me into the touch of her moments
flooding back through open mouths
dripping out into intoxicated fingertips
before, overcome by the inebriation of remembering
eyelids heavy in her photographs
burned backward from brain to retina
push the warmth of her back into hands
allowing me to sleep guiltlessly
but even then, she pours herself into be
squeezes out the wine
so I wake unintoxicated
but drunk on longing for her
and a hangover of memories
I can’t forget again

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"1861" by Walt Whitman

Wade Spees/The (Charleston) Post and Courier
Cannon blasts from Fort Johnson across Charleston Harbor toward Fort Sumter at daybreak signal the beginning of the Civil War 150 years ago.

Fort Sumter sits in the mouth of
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
1861
By Walt Whitman

ARM’D year! year of the struggle!
No dainty rhymes or sentimental love verses for you, terrible year!
Not you as some pale poetling, seated at a desk, lisping cadenzas
      piano;
But as a strong man, erect, clothed in blue clothes, advancing,
      carrying a rifle on your shoulder,
With well-gristled body and sunburnt face and hands–with a knife in
      the belt at your side,
As I heard you shouting loud–your sonorous voice ringing across the
      continent;
Your masculine voice, O year, as rising amid the great cities,
Amid the men of Manhattan I saw you, as one of the workmen, the
      dwellers in Manhattan;
Or with large steps crossing the prairies out of Illinois and
      Indiana,
Rapidly crossing the West with springy gait, and descending the
      Alleghanies;
Or down from the great lakes, or in Pennsylvania, or on deck along
      the Ohio river;
Or southward along the Tennessee or Cumberland rivers, or at
      Chattanooga on the mountain top,
Saw I your gait and saw I your sinewy limbs, clothed in blue, bearing
      weapons, robust year;
Heard your determin’d voice, launch’d forth again and again;
Year that suddenly sang by the mouths of the round-lipp’d cannon,
I repeat you, hurrying, crashing, sad, distracted year.



Alice Keeney/AP
The lights shine at Fort Sumter at 4:30 a.m. EDT to
commemorate the moment the first shots of the Civil War
were fired in Charleston on Tuesday morning, April 12.
The South Carolina ceremony Tuesday begins the four-year
national commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the
Civil War.
Confederate troops in South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter 150 years ago this week, April 12 and 13, touching off the American Civil War. There are more than 70,000 books about the American Civil War, so there's no need for me to touch on that aspect, but I think discussing the poetry from and about the period from 1861-1865 will be fun to explore between 2011-2015.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Indian Monsoon," March 31/31 Project

For Doc Luben's March 31/31 Project
No. 10

Indian Monsoon

By Christopher Fox Graham



I can smell you on the wind
Blowing east from lands I’ve never seen
The taste of curry and wasabi
Hindu mantras, Buddhist chanting, Shinto incense
I will not voice my yearning
Will not explode my cells
At the thought of hearing your words
Sit still, swallow pride, bear indifference
Attachment is the Eastern sin
As vanity is Western and my own


You came to me in dreams
Erupted from a doorway
As though I would be waiting
And there I was,
Waiting
Like you knew I would be
I will proverbially cut out this overeager tongue
Dumb but undeaf
Anticipating your stories
From Delhi roads and Goa beaches
Sapporo suburbs, Hokkaido hillsides
Tell me your path
I am vapor and ears
Quiet, attentive
An audience
Wholly yours