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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National Poetry Month: "A Finger, Two Dots Then Me" by Derrick Brown



Produced by Duality Filmworks and Write Bloody Publishing

Written and performed by Derrick Brown
Shot, cut and directed by David and Daniel Holechek

Winner - Crystal Heart Award, 2011 Heartland Film Festival
Winner - Best Short Film, 2012 Boulder International Film Festival
Winner - Best Short Film, 2012 Maui Film Festival
Winner - CINE Golden Eagle Award, Fall 2011
Winner - CINE Special Jury Award, Best Short Film, 2011
Winner - CINE Master's Series Award, Best Independent Production, 2011
Winner - Best Film, 2011 San Jose Short Film Festival
Winner - Best Film, 2012 Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival
Winner - Best Film, Best Directors, Audience Favorite, 2011 Milwaukee Short Film Festival
Winner - Best Film, Audience Favorite, 2012 Love Your Shorts Film Festival
Winner - Best Short Film, 2012 Sacramento International Film Festival
Winner - Best Short Experimental Film, 2012 Sonoma International Film Festival
Winner - Audience Favorite, 2011 DC Shorts Film Festival
Winner - Audience Favorite, 2012 Tumbleweed Film Festival
Winner - Audience Favorite, 2012 Rochester International Film Festival
Winner - Best Drama, 2012 Dam Short Film Festival
Winner - Best Experimental Film, 2011 Miami Short Film Festival
Winner - Best Experimental Film, 2011 Illinois International Film Festival
Winner - Best Experimental Film, 2012 Big Easy International Film and Music Festival
Winner - Best Experimental Film, 2012 River Bend International Film Festival
Winner - Best Editing, 2012 Festivus Film Festival
Winner - Gold Award, 2012 Media Film Festival
Winner - Award of Merit, 2011 Best Shorts Competition
Winner - Best "Open" Film, 2012 The MIX International Short Film Festival
Runner Up - Best Short Film, 2012 Warrambeen Film Festival (AUS)
Runner Up - Best Super Short, 2011 Anchorage International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Seattle International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Sedona International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Charleston International Film Festival
Official Selection -- 2012 Edmonton International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 AMC Kansas City Filmmaker Jubilee
Official Selection - 2012 Ashland Independent Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Spokane International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Big Island Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Byron Bay International Film Festival (AUS)
Official Selection - 2012 Garden State Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Omaha Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Durango Independent Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Fort Myers Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 LA Film + Music Weekend
Official Selection - 2012 Buffalo-Niagara International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Myrtle Beach International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival "Night of Award Winning Shorts"
Official Selection - 2012 Rushes Soho Shorts (UK)
Official Selection - 2012 Carolina Film and Video Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Big Easy International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Fargo Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Westchester Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Humboldt Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Derby City International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Macon Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 High Desert Short International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Spirit Quest Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Crested Butte Film Festival
Official Selection - 2012 Couch Fest
Official Selection - 2012 Tumblweed Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 Lone Star International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 River's Edge International Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 Northern California Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 San Diego Christian Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 Coney Island Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 Director's Circle Short Film Awards
Official Selection - 2011 Wanderings Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 California International Short Film Festival
Official Selection - 2011 Asheville Cinema Festival

Friday, April 26, 2013

I attended the talk between Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. John McCain at the Sedona Forum

Washington, DC -- The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University today announced that Vice President Joe Biden will participate in a conversation with U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) during the opening dinner of the Institute's annual Sedona Forum this Friday, April 26th in Sedona, Arizona.

A story on the talk will appear in the Wednesday, May 1, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

"We at Arizona State University are proud to have Vice President Biden and so many other distinguished leaders involved with the McCain Institute," said Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow. "Their participation in the Sedona Forum ensures a thought-provoking weekend."

The Sedona Forum is an annual, high-level conclave of national and international leaders from the public and private sectors brought together by the McCain Institute for focused discussions on national security and foreign policy issues, promoting economic freedom and prosperity and advancing human rights around the world.

"I am very pleased that Vice President Joe Biden, my friend of many years, will speak at this year’s Sedona Forum," said Senator John McCain. "From his decades of experience in foreign policy in the Senate to his critical role in the White House today, Vice President Biden has a unique perspective on America's role in this complex and dangerous world. We are pleased that he is joining this important gathering in Sedona and look forward to hearing from him."

The theme for this year's Forum, held April 26-28 at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, is, "How Can We Promote Freedom and Democracy Effectively?" Participants in this year's Forum will include GE Chairman and CEO and McCain Institute Board Member Jeff Immelt, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, former Belarus Presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, former NBA star and humanitarian Dikembe Mutombo, General Jack Keane (Ret.), Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jon Kyl (R-AZ, Ret.), Joe Lieberman (I-CT, Ret.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), among many others.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

National Poetry Month: Valence performs "Tonight"




Tyler “Valence” Sirvinskas is a performance poet and new media artist based in Arizona. Spoken word, performance art, electronic music, and visual art are all elements of Valence’s artistic vision. In 2011, he began competing in poetry slams, and represented Flagstaff at the 2011 National Poetry Slam. In 2012, he won the Sedona Grand Slam and a spot on Sedona’s National slam team.

Valence has lived in Arizona for eight years, but was born in and spent his childhood in Chicago. Part of the last generation to know first-hand what life was like before the internet, Valence is grateful for anything that makes people turn off their smartphones.

In the future, Valence has plans for touring, albums, books, and a new style of performance art that combines spoken word with live video and music. At only twenty-two years of age, his creative development has only begun.

At only 21 years of age, his creative development has only begun.

Like Valence and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

National Poetry Month: Ashley Swazey performs "Invincible"




Ashley Swazey is an aspiring wedding photographer studying photography at Northern Arizona University. She’s 19 and has been writing angst poetry before she was a teenager. She has her own photography business and loves to sing, sew, and create.

Fun fact: Swazey made her own prom dress. She’s obsessed with seafoam green and has obnoxiously red hair that bleeds in the shower.

She went to Arizona State University for a year and a half, before realizing she hated everything about it.

Another fun fact: Swazey has a pet snake.

She hopes to live in Seattle when she grows up and she wants to adopt a baby from Africa.

Swazey’s mother is a flight attendant so she can fly anywhere practically for free. She likes to brag about having been to Ireland, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Last fun fact: Swazey is often told she resembles Julia Styles, a comment she detests.

Swazey is very involved in the speech and debate scene, having participated for two years in high school and coached for a year and a half in college. This is where she discovered the art of slam poetry.

She began writing and performing her own poems in competition, which is incidentally completely against the rules. But she only lives once.

Like Ashley Swazey and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Friday, April 19, 2013

National Poetry Month: Verbal Kensington performs "Earthquakes"



With a background ranging the spectrum from accounting to pyrotechnics, Meg (Verbal) Kensington shamelessly abandoned her previous brainchild, Verballistics, to step into her role as Necessary Publishing’s Creative Director. She’s also a writer, poet, artist, and mentor. Others know her as a verbal mercenary, with an uncanny knack for organization. Her most valued achievements include the ability to speak unabashedly in the third person, the precise calculation of road-trip gas mileage in her beloved vintage Subaru, and the unobtrusive creation of an amazing array of late-night snacks. She aspires to become more like her favorite animal, the platypus – the only earthly creature who is both astonishingly cuddly, and horrendously poisonous.

With her unique combination of extreme intelligence and stunning good looks, she plans to one day take over the world – starting today, with Necessary Publishing.

Like Verbal Kensington and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

National Poetry Month: Austin Reeves performs "Thing Like Love"



Austin Reeves is a 19-year-old Flagstaff poet studying to become an English professor. Born in Washington state at the height of the grunge movement — and quality ’90s music, Reeves moved to Arizona when he was 7. Then he was moved back to Washington. Then he was moved back to Arizona.

Having lived in and around the Phoenix area for far too long, Reeves opted to attend college at Northern Arizona University — a wise choice, he thinks.

It was in Flagstaff that Reeves truly discovered poetry, having dabbled in it at times before. Joining up with the FlagSlam and Sedona Slam family in late 2011, Reeves placed second in the last slam of the Sedona Poetry Slam season and went on to compete in Sedona’s Poetry Grand Slam, narrowly missing out on making the first-ever Sedona National Poetry Slam Team. In 2013, Reeves is back for blood and doing his best to systematically *cough* remove his rivals from the competition.

So far, Reeves has already established himself as Flagstaff’s 2012-2013 Haiku Death Match Champion. Austin won Flagstaff’s 2012-2013 Haiku Death Match in his underwear. Real stuff.

Reeves takes the greater majority of his inspiration from national slam poets Buddy Wakefield and Anis Mojgani.

Reeves is a guitarist, singer and drummer for Tempe-based post-rock band Ursus Colossus, with whom he has recorded two full-length albums. He has also been recorded on a number of tracks for Phoenix-based alternative rock band The Upper Strata. Reeves finds his musical inspiration in the bloodline of his musically inclined family. He also tries his hand at visual art forms occasionally. Currently, Reeves is attempting to make his way back into skateboarding and to make a hobby of electronic music production with Ableton, a musical performance and production software.

Reeves believes in poetry, music and art always.

Like Austin Reeves and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Poetry Month: "Father Benjamin," by Lewis Mundt



Lewis Mundt // Father Benjamin // A Poem Observed // Button Poetry

Button Poetry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ButtonPoetry?ref=hl

Lewis Mundt performs Father Benjamin at Carleton College's Skinner Chapel in Northfield, Minnesota.
http://www.poetryobserved.com

Poetry Observed is committed to producing high quality videos of performance poetry, filmed off the stage. Our first series features Minnesota spoken word poets and was produced in collaboration with Button Poetry.





Like performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

National Poetry Month: "Unrequited Love Poem" by Sierra DeMulder


Sierra DeMulder // Unrequited Love Poem // A Poem Observed // Button Poetry

Purchase this track at the Button Store: http://store.buttonpoetry.com/track/the-unrequited-love-poem

Button Poetry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ButtonPoetry?ref=hl

Sierra DeMulder performs Unrequited Love Poem in St. Paul, Minnesota.
http://www.poetryobserved.com

Poetry Observed is committed to producing high quality videos of performance poetry, off the stage. Our first series features Twin Cities based poets and was produced in collaboration with Button Poetry.






Like performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.



Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Kickstarter challenge: $20 by April 20


Kickstarter Challenge: If you haven't yet a donated to Necessary Poetry's Kickstarter project, donate $20 by Saturday, April 20.

$20 ain't much and it could do so much.

Why give? 'Cause the project is awesome. Check it out here:


Then ask 20 of your friends to to the same.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Poetry Month: A little girl reads Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"



"Jabberwocky"
By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.



Like children and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Frank O'Brien wins the sixth Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2012-13 National Poetry Slam Season

Frank O'Brien wins the sixth Sedona Poetry Slam of the 2012-13 National Poetry Slam Season.

Round 1
Random Draw


Calibration: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Frankie Marchi, of Phoenix, 2:28, 23.3
MacKenzi Taylor, of Sedona, 2:34, 24.8
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff, 1:49, 21.6
James Gould, of Sedona, 3:03, 25.1
Frank O'Brien, of Prescott, 2:34, 27.3
Spicy Jack, of Flagstaff, 3:01, 21.9
Verbal Kensington, of Flagstaff, 3:16, 27.4 (after 0.5 point time penalty)
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:42, 23.0
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 1:49, 24.6

Teaser: Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona

Round 2
Reverse Order


Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 1:50, 27.0, 48.9
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:42, 26.6, 49.6
Verbal Kensington, of Flagstaff, 1:54, 26.2, 53.1
Spicy Jack, of Flagstaff, 2:00, 23.0, 44.9
Frank O'Brien, of Prescott, 2:50, 26.9, 54.2
James Gould, of Sedona, 3:09, 25.6, 50.7
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff, 1:41, 25.0, 46.6
MacKenzi Taylor, of Sedona, 3:12, 27.5, 51.8
Frankie Marchi, of Phoenix, 2:17, 26.7, 50.0

Feature: Necessary Poetry Poets

The April 13 poetry slam featured many of the 15 poets involved in the Necessary Poetry project, a collective of 15 of the best performance poets in Northern Arizona. Necessary Poetry is currently raising money to publish its first anthology of poetry, which will include a printed book and an online version complete with high-quality video, audio versions of poetry put to music and visual arts by some of Northern Arizona best contemporary artists to enhance the poetry.

The Necessary Poetry collective will use its funds to host workshops for students, youth and seniors around Northern Arizona. For more information on the project and goals, visit Necessary Poetry, Necessary Publishing


 Features: Valence, of Flagstaff
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff

Round 3
High to Low

Frank O'Brien, of Prescott, 2:40, 26.7, 80.9
Verbal Kensington, of Flagstaff, 4:06, 24.2 (after 3.0 point time penalty), 77.3
MacKenzi Taylor, of Sedona, 3:16, 27.0 (after 0.5 point time penalty), 78.8
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 2:21, 27.3, 78.9
James Gould, of Sedona, 2:50, 26.8, 77.5
Frankie Marchi, of Phoenix, 2:01, 25.7, 75.7
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 2:12, 24.8, 74.4
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff, 2:08, 25.7, 72.3
Spicy Jack, of Flagstaff, 1:54, 24.8, 69.7

Victory: Frank O'Brien, of Prescott

Final Scores

Frank O'Brien, of Prescott, 80.9

Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff, 78.9

MacKenzi Taylor, of Sedona, 78.8

James Gould, of Sedona, 77.5
Verbal Kensington, of Flagstaff, 77.3
Frankie Marchi, of Phoenix, 75.7
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff, 74.4
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff, 72.3
Spicy Jack, of Flagstaff, 69.7

Sedona National Poetry Slam Team
Slamoff Point Standings
15 points
Josh Wiss, of Flagstaff✓✓
9 points
Ryan Brown, of Flagstaff✓✓
The Klute, of Phoenix
8 points
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona
Evan Dissinger, of Flagstaff
Jackson Morris, of Flagstaff
7 points
Joy Young, of Phoenix
4 points
Frank O'Brien, of Prescott✓
Leo Bryant, of Richmond, Calif.✓
3 points
Charles Levett, of Phoenix
Jeremiah Blue, of Phoenix
2.5 points
Josh Floyd, of Flagstaff
Valence, of Flagstaff
2 points
Ashley Swazey, of Phoenix
Austin Reeves, of Flagstaff
Bert Cisneros, of Cottonwood
Gary Every, of Sedona
Lauren Perry, of Phoenix
Lynn Gravatt, of Sedona
MacKenzi Taylor, of Sedona
1.5 points
Taylor Hayes, of Flagstaff
Verbal Kensington, of Flagstaff
1 point
Bill Campana, of Mesa
Bradley Blalock, of Sedona
Frankie Marchi, of Phoenix
Houston Hughes, of Fayetteville, Ark.
Jackie Stockwell, of Flagstaff
James Gould, of Sedona
Jasmine "Jazz" Sufi Wilkenson of Santa Cruz, Calif.
Jordan Ranft, of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Ky J. Dio, of Flagstaff
Lauren Deja, of Phoenix
Little Blue Lyon-Fish, of Phoenix
nodalone, of Flagstaff
Robert Gonzales, of Flagstaff
Rowie Shebala, of Phoenix
Slammy D, of Flagstaff
Spicy Jack, of Flagstaff
Susan Okie, of Washington, D.C.
Tom Lamkin, of Chicago
Vincent Vega, of Flagstaff

✓ = won a Sedona Poetry Slam

National Poetry Month: Klingon Chancellor Gowron performs Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"



"Jabberwocky"
By Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.



Gowron, son of M'Rel, was Chancellor of the Klingon High Council in the late 24th century. He ruled during the Klingon Civil War, Klingon-Cardassian War, and the Dominion War. 

Before 2367, Gowron was a political outsider on the Klingon High Council, who often challenged their decisions. After the death of Chancellor K'mpec, Gowron and Duras, son of Ja'rod became the two leading candidates for leadership of the council. It was suspected that Gowron had in fact poisoned K'mpec to advance his career although many believe that K'mpec was indeed poisoned by Duras.

Duras attempted to kill Gowron during the Rite of Succession, but the attempt failed. Duras was killed by a Starfleet officer, Worf, thus ensuring Gowron's election as chancellor.

Following Gowron's election, Duras's sisters, Lursa and B'Etor attempted to challenge Gowron's office. They appealed to the High Council to install Toral, the illegitimate son of Duras, as Council leader. The resulting division of loyalty in the council sparked the Klingon Civil War in late 2367.

After a few weeks, Gowron's side was victorious. With the help of the Federation, Duras's family was exposed of having ties with the Romulan Star Empire. In addition, Gowron reinstated the House of Mogh because of the actions of Worf and his brother Kurn coming to his aid in the conflict.

After the Cardassians joined the Dominion in 2373, Gowron reinstated the Khitomer Accords, and posted a permanent contingent of Klingon officers on the Cardassian border at station Deep Space 9, commanded by Gen. Martok

In early 2374, Gowron was reluctant to involve the Empire in Operation Return. However, he was later persuaded to assist Captain Sisko's forces by Martok and Worf. The late arrival of the Klingon fleet proved critical in the battle, throwing the Dominion lines into disarray and allowed the Defiant to break through.

Martok's actions in the war had made him a prominent figure throughout the Empire and was regarded by the Klingon people as their savior. Threatened by Martok's growing political influence, Gowron took direct control of the Klingon Defense Force in 2375, and began to undermine Martok's military strategies.

Martok refused to challenge Gowron after such dishonorable actions. Instead Gowron was challenged by a member of Martok's house, Worf. Worf defeated Gowron in combat, killing him, and passed the leadership of the High Council to Martok. Despite his disapproval of Gowron's actions, Worf performed the Klingon death ritual for him, acknowledging the former chancellor as a Klingon warrior.



Like Gowron, Lewis Carroll and performance poetry? 
Donate to "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:
A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Support Arizona poets during National Poetry Month: Ashley Swazey, "PEMDAS"




Ashley Swazey is an aspiring wedding photographer studying photography at Northern Arizona University. She’s 19 and has been writing angst poetry before she was a teenager. She has her own photography business and loves to sing, sew, and create.

Fun fact: Swazey made her own prom dress. She’s obsessed with seafoam green and has obnoxiously red hair that bleeds in the shower.

She went to Arizona State University for a year and a half, before realizing she hated everything about it.

Another fun fact: Swazey has a pet snake.

She hopes to live in Seattle when she grows up and she wants to adopt a baby from Africa.

Swazey’s mother is a flight attendant so she can fly anywhere practically for free. She likes to brag about having been to Ireland, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Last fun fact: Swazey is often told she resembles Julia Styles, a comment she detests.

Swazey is very involved in the speech and debate scene, having participated for two years in high school and coached for a year and a half in college. This is where she discovered the art of slam poetry.

She began writing and performing her own poems in competition, which is incidentally completely against the rules. But she only lives once.

Like Ashley Swazey and slam poetry? 

Support "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:

A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"you know, I'm leaving in the morning" by Verbal Kensington and a reply, "famous last words," by Christopher Fox Graham

This week, I took a poem by my good friend Verbal Kensington and wrote a reply. To add a little more fun, I also took her other poems and worked them in.

At this week's FlagSlam, she went seventh, I went eighth, so the audience got the poems right after another.

Verbal's poem is below. In my poem, the original or reworked lines from this poem are in orange, from other poems are in green. The red is from Derrick Brown, one of her favorite poets.

"you know, I'm leaving in the morning."

By Verbal Kensington

"you know, I'm leaving in the morning."

These words drop casually from his lips, unflinching, cascading down his flinted chin to fall at my feet and puddle there, between us. He holds his gaze, as if it could tractor-beam reel me in, but his game is too weak. this line wavers in the silent space between us, and I'm warpspeed shifting my trajectory, all power to starboard, gunning for the cause.

He has no escape plan, he's no criminal mastermind, just a two- penny panty raider, doesn't realize he's tripped the alarm, all that stumbling around in the dark.

So I lean in close, and say listen - Don't mistake my open door for an invitation - don't mistake my nice for naive, cuz I was born on a day, but it wasn't yesterday, and you don't know me. I collect jawdrops and eyepops til my pockets fucking jingle. Smiles cost nothing, so I hand them out freely - but don't forget they are made of teeth. These meateaters are just a tonguetip from savage and you are a sick wildebeast, trailing behind the herd. If you think you can keep up, baby, better pick up the pace.

Don't Look me in the face, and say that you're leaving in the morning - when what you mean to say is that you are a trip which will only come my way once, so I better hop on and ride while it lasts - which I can see won't be long. You fancy yourself a barrelling freight train and you've pegged me for a passenger, when I am a destination. I am not some spit-shined station corridor to be casually passed through, I'm a vast country awaiting exploration my landscape brilliant and beautiful. I'm obviously foreign to you, cuz you're not speaking my language. I'm a menu of good taste offering five-course delight, not some blue plate Saturday night. My ribcage sign flashes neon open, but don't confuse my kindness for a cornerstore - there's a winning lotto ticket ticking countdown behind the counter, but you'll find nothing quick or convenient - though I'm happy to make change.

I know the sign said shirts and shoes, but the best dates show up dressed in sparkling self-respect, and I am the longest day of summer, all lightning and June bugs, openmouth kissing the starshine into latenight conversations, and what you're telling me is, you don't have that kind of time.

Which is fine - but I am no napkin poem, or match book phone number, I will not be crumpled and lost to tomorrow's wash. But I'm sure this bar holds some pretty pink panty waste of a girl willing to jump smiling into your bed of bullshit, but I've always preferred sheets - even if they are only made of paper... and all I know about you is that you're leaving.in the morning, and I'm not the one-line happy ending to anyone's bedtime story.

"famous last words"

By Christopher Fox Graham

"They couldn't hit an elephant from this distance,"
Union General John Sedgwick said in 1864
seconds before a Confederate sniper
nailed him beneath his left eye

rarely, are last words so profound
or elegantly recorded

and he,
the man at the bar says his:
"you know, I'm leaving in the morning"

it drops from his lips
and I perk up
because we all take a passing glance at a car accident
but rarely do we get to see one happen
and this is her Mack Truck magnificence
about to meet him dressed up in a Bambi suit

I resist the urge to shout at him
"Muddy Waters said it better!"
but I'm not throwing him that life preserver
because this fool chose to jump overboard
and he's about to drown in the gene pool

he thinks himself a cat burglar raiding panties
with a pickup line American G.I.s turned into a cliché
decades before any of us were born
but really, he's the guy who'd sell weed
to a cop
in front of the police station
for the second time

Now she –
I saw her wanted poster hanging in the heart of every public building
with a reward so high
I found a Boba Fett mask and became a bounty hunter

but tonight,
I heard her long before I saw her
her pockets jingled from the jawdrops and eyepops
she collects from boys like me who smile instead of speak
because the right words only come
when we put them on paper
weeks after they're of any use

I will tell her this in person
weeks after it's of any use
Only my hindsight is 20/20.

She'll say honesty is the most amazing flavor she has ever tasted,
but it needs more salt
because she's never satiated
and I'm not sure if this is an explanation or an apology.

my grandmother warned me about girls like her
"Son, if you meet a girl with a cunning cat smile
and a slanted sideways glance,
who plays 10 chess games in every conversation -
don't try to get inside her head,
you'll just get your ass kicked by all the other ideas.
Do your best to win her
and if you're not the right man for her
become the man who is"

"your grandfather did the same"

Sometimes, we have to tear it all down
before we can build anew
I'll use the rain to wash my wounds
until I get this right

now she
is no napkin poem, nor match book phone number
she is a girl who wears Chuck Taylors like the punk rock badass she was born as
and merely had to grow into
a girl who hears the world clamoring, and just sings louder.
a girl equally parts skeptical and convinced, who watches cartoons on a projector,
whose love takes mouths hostage and makes people smile against their will
a girl so brilliant as a verbalistic ninja poet
that the lines of this poem
were all originally hers
I just scrambled egg them into a morning breakfast
served alongside bacon and coffee
that I hope to serve to her every morning until
there is no 'til
until I die
with the kind of joy in my heart my grandfather had
as he slipped away from grandma
knowing he had a winning lottery ticket every day

my grandmother warned me about girls like her
because she was one of them too

If I have to
I'd bring a suitcase full of unmarked kisses and meet her under the bridge at midnight
she'll be wearing the blue dress made from the skies of longest day of summer
pinned to her shoulders by June bugs

between openmouth kisses I'll tell her
"if I was on a freight train barreling past you
I would derail it and spend the rest of my days exploring your countryside
until I am buried beneath it"

then apologize
because the metaphor made more sense in my head before I said it

I know some days she feels like she's reached the age of unraveling –
when it all comes apart at the dreams
I feel that way too
but lovers stich up each other with the ignorance still woven into their threads
and I have plenty to spare

if I ever say
"you know, I'm leaving in the morning"
it'll only be followed with
"but I'll be back in the afternoon,
working enough to buy a new bed
because the smoldering ruins of the old one
just holds both last night's ashes
and this morning's kindling
the sheets will be made of paper
on which we can write another night's poem
because this one won't be the last"

between the lines,
we can outline our silhouettes against the backdrop of a blank page,
and let our history be the judge


Like slam poetry? 

Support "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:

A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Necessary Poetry Project poets feature at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 13

Necessary Poetry Project poets feature at the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 13

Sedona’s Studio Live hosts a poetry slam Saturday, April 13, starting at 7:30 p.m. hosted by Sedona poet Christopher Fox Graham.


All poets are welcome to compete for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. The prize is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporter Jeanne Freeland.

The slam is the sixth of the 2012-13 season, which will culminate in selection of Sedona’s second National Poetry Slam Team, the foursome and alternate who will represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Boston and Cambridge, Mass., in August.
Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.
The local poets will share the stage with 300 of the top poets in the United States, Canada and Europe, pouring out their words in a weeklong explosion of expression. Sedona sent its five-poet first team to the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C.
For the Sedona Poetry Slam, slammers will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted.

The poets will be judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam. 

To compete in the slam, poets need at least three original poems, each three minutes long or shorter. No props, costumes or musical accompaniment are permitted. All types of poetry are welcome.

The slam will be hosted by Graham, who represented Northern Arizona on six FlagSlam National Poetry Slams in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2012.
Contact Graham at foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up to slam.

What is Necessary Poetry?
 
The April 13 poetry slam will feature many of the 15 poets involved in the Necessary Poetry project, a collective of 15 of the best performance poets in Northern Arizona. Necessary Poetry is currently raising money to publish its first anthology of poetry, which will include a printed book and an online version complete with high-quality video, audio versions of poetry put to music and visual arts by some of Northern Arizona best contemporary artists to enhance the poetry.

The Necessary Poetry collective will use its funds to host workshops for students, youth and seniors around Northern Arizona. For more information on the project and goals, visit Necessary Poetry, Necessary Publishing or the group's "Holy Spoken Word - Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology" project on Kickstarter.


What is Poetry Slam?


Founded in Chicago in 1984, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets’ contents and performances.

Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a “slam” poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain their audience with their creativity.


2013 Sedona National Poetry Slam Team


Competing poets earn points with each Sedona Poetry Slam performance between September and May. Every poet earns 1 point for performing or hosting. First place earns 3 additional points, second place earns 2 and third place earns 1.


Based on points, the top 12 poets in May are eligible to compete for the four slots on the Sedona Poetry Slam Team, which will represent the community and Studio Live at the 2013 National Poetry Slam in Boston. Poets can compete for multiple teams during a season and still be eligible to compete in the Sedona team.



Support Arizona poets during National Poetry Month: "Open Letter to the Dissidents of My Generation"



Tyler “Valence” Sirvinskas is a performance poet and new media artist based in Arizona. Spoken word, performance art, electronic music, and visual art are all elements of Valence’s artistic vision. In 2011, he began competing in poetry slams, and represented Flagstaff at the 2011 National Poetry Slam. In 2012, he won the Sedona Grand Slam and a spot on Sedona’s National slam team.

Valence has lived in Arizona for eight years, but was born in and spent his childhood in Chicago. Part of the last generation to know first-hand what life was like before the internet, Valence is grateful for anything that makes people turn off their smartphones.

In the future, Valence has plans for touring, albums, books, and a new style of performance art that combines spoken word with live video and music. At only twenty-two years of age, his creative development has only begun.

At only 21 years of age, his creative development has only begun.

Like Valence and slam poetry? 

Support "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:

A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

National Poetry Month: "When I Move" by Khary Jackson



Khary Jackson // When I Move // A Poem Observed // Button Poetry

Button Poetry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ButtonPoetry?ref=hl

Khary Jackson performs "When I Move" at a park in St. Paul, Minnesota.
http://www.poetryobserved.com

Poetry Observed is committed to producing high quality videos of performance poetry, filmed off the stage. Our first series features Minnesota spoken word poets and was produced in collaboration with Button Poetry.




Like slam poetry? 

Support "Holy Spoken Word," Necessary Poetry's 1st Anthology:

A multimedia anthology, showcasing the amazing writing, artwork, and spoken-word performance of the Necessary Poetry collective, a group of poets from Sedona, Flagstaff and Prescott.

Click here to help support our efforts on Kickstarter. A donation of even $10 or $20 gets us closer to our goal of our first publication and establishment of a nonprofit spoken word collective open to all.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

National Poetry Month: "Punk Rock John" by Neil Hilborn



Neil Hilborn // Punk Rock John // A Poem Observed // Button Poetry

Button Poetry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ButtonPoetry?ref=hl

Neil Hilborn performs "Punk Rock John" in St. Paul, Minnesota.
http://www.poetryobserved.com

Poetry Observed is committed to producing high quality videos of performance poetry, filmed off the stage. Our first series features Minnesota spoken word poets and was produced in collaboration with Button Poetry.

Monday, April 8, 2013

National Poetry Month: "Give Me A Chance" by Beau Sia




"Give Me A Chance"
By Beau Sia



if there is anyone
in the audience
in the entertainment industry
watching me perform,
I want you to keep in mind
that if you are casting any films
and need a Korean grocery store owner,
a computer expert or the random thug
of a yakuza gang,
i’m your man.
if you’re making Jackie Chan
knock-off films
and need a stunt double,
that stunt double is me.
if you need a Chinese jay-z,
a Japanese Eminem,
or a Vietnamese N'Sync,
please consider me,
because I am all those things and more.
i come from the house that
step n’ fetchit built
and i will broken English my way
to sidekick status
if that’s what’s expected of me
make an Asian different strokes.
i’ll walk around on my knees yelling,
"ahso, what you talk about wirris?!"
because it’s been 23 months and 14 days
since my art has done anything for me,
and i would be noble and toil on,
i swear i would.
live for the art and the art alone,
and all that crapass.
but college loans are monthly up my ass,
my salmon teriyaki habit is getting way out of control,
and i want some
motherfucking cable!
so you can understand where i’m coming from.
when tight verse
exhibiting dynamics
within the text
falls by the wayside
rejoice in its
pretty, packaged, boygroup,
talentless twats
sent from florida
to make me puke
but i'm not preaching. none siree, boss.
i cannot stress how ready i am
to sell out,
wear jiggy clothes,
and yell from the top of my lungs
any hook i am told to sing.
if you want the caricature
of a caricature,
then i am that caricature.
if you want an exotic dragon lady
like lucy liu,
who fucks like a kama sutra
come to life,
just tell my ass where ya want it,
and i will bend over.
if you need a voice-over artist,
just tell me
where you want the,
hi-ya's! to go
and i will be there,
because i am all that more,
i am a pop culture whore,
i an a co-sponsored world tour,
an i am
an appropriated culture at my core.
i've been noticed, acclaimed, and funny
and now all i want
is a beach front house to paint in
and a range rover
to listen to my music in,
'cause struggling fucking sucks hard
after the ninth package of ramen noodle soup.
i'm beau sia.
give me a chance,
and i'll
change the world.






Copyright © Beau Sia


Beau Sia began performing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, eventually earning himself a place on the 1996 Nuyorican National Poetry Slam team. That same year, he would be filmed for the documentary SlamNation. The film followed Sia and his Nuyorican teammates (Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore and Mums da Schemer) as they competed at the 1996 National Poetry Slam. The team would go on to place third in the nation, and have a lasting impact on how people would view slam poetry.

Sia earned two National Poetry Slam Championships in 1997 and 2000 while competing on the NYC-Urbana national poetry slam team. He would also reach second place in the Individual Poetry Slam competition in 2001.

He wrote a parody of Jewel's work, A Night Without Armor, within four hours and published it as A Night Without Armor II: the Revenge in 1998. He wrote different poems with Jewel's original titles, lampooning her earnest lines. It is painfully detailed in its satire, changing the delicate paintings printed in Jewel's book to rough, humorous pencil drawings by Sia. The front and back cover were also painstakingly mirrored.