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, March 16, 2012

Chasing Stephen Hawking

By Christopher Fox Graham for Vincent Theel
Inspired by Grey Brian Thomas’ brilliant poem “Life in Reverse”

he believes time should run backwards
He graduated college at 79
which is only surprising if you know
he entered first grade at 94
he counts his birthdays in reverse
starting at 100
because he says he works better on deadline
besides, if things normally go from bad to worse
then if you work in reverse
things are only getting better

he believes time should run backwards
so broken dreams can reform themselves into aspirations
then into infant urges created in a moment
like a shooting star born in the fire
of the earth's atmosphere
and shoot back into the heavens
to explore the cosmos
it's those moments he remembers being most beautiful

growing up, he heard men talk about killing time
while time
killed them quietly
and he knew it was because men swim against the flow
rather than embrace the stream
pulling us back to arms of our mothers
he believes if time ran backwards
we could tell our dead fathers
"see, we made you proud, just like you wanted us to"
then tell them of our accomplishments
as we unlearned how to build bridges
or repair automobiles
or shave our chins
our thinning grey hair would grow thick and dark with life
until it faded into peach fuzz
and we grow bald again

he believes if time ran backwards
the end of an empire wouldn't be so tragic
because we have a golden age ahead of us
and once it passes
we could remember where we came from
empty battlefields would give birth to forgotten men
who'd leave their guns and swords behind
strip off weathered armor and rush home
replacing the horrors of war
with the embrace of our loved ones

he says if time ran backwards
a white flower of smoke and debris
would coalesce into the Challenger
and seven astronauts would tell us
what it was like
to break the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of god

if time ran backwards
we'd put away all these electronics
and remember what it was like to shake hands
or receive a letter in the mail

he loves living backwards
because he can unsay his mistakes to lovers
bring them back into his arms
without the ache
of wondering what went wrong
he can unshutter the lost moments
from his favorite tattered photographs
and relive them all anew
last kisses become first kisses
done just right
and first kisses become last kisses
unbearably awkward for two lovers
who should know each other better

if time ran backwards
he'd lose the sins staining his skin
and recover his lost virginity
from wherever it went
he'd become a boy again
and feel awkward holding hands
like he remembered doing before

poems would unwrite themselves
and disappear into the ether
to return to their sources

if time ran backward far enough he says
all the gods who make us tremble
would fade away into our imaginations
until we were left to worship
nothing but the stars, the sun, the moon
the earth below
and all our ancestors yet to be born,
leaving them a world absent of plastics and toxins
and the memories of genocides
and the trajectories of explosives

and finally all this would shrink to size of a mustard seed
as all the disparate stars came hurtling together
and compress down into a pinhead
before one big bang
let us hold each other
forever in silence


oviedomedina said...

This reminds me of "Voyage to the seed" by Alejo Carpentier.
Thanks a lot!

hikix said...

This is amazing. Great job!!

Levi Fangli said...

Brilliant! Very moving, honestly man, this is time travel.