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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

making love should resemble the way clouds communicate

From Becca, for her poem,
here's a line for ya

"making love should resemble the way clouds communicate
changing with every minute you waste away from the
and no two encounters the same"

Monday, May 30, 2005

NORAZ Poets win the Arizona state championship at the 5th annual Arcosanti Slab City Slam

The Arizona State Championship title has returned to NORthern AriZona. The NORAZ Poets won the Arcosanti Slab City Slam on April 28, by 16.5 points.

"That's two touchdowns and a field goal," Christopher Lane, NORAZ Poets executive director and Team NORAZ member, said.

The fifth annual Arcosanti Slab City Slam featured 10 teams from all across the state. The NORAZ Poets included three teams of four poets each. Team NORAZ, Team Prescott, Team FlagSlam, faced off against Team Tucson, Team Arcosanti, The Loose Nuts, Hangover Express, a third Phoenix team, The X-Hosts, a team of slam hosts from the East Valley of Phoenix and Team NORAZ's cross-state arch-rivals Team Mesa Nationals, who has won the last four This year's Mesa team includes Brent Heffron a member of the 2004 Team NORAZ.

The championship team consisted of 4 of the 5 members of Team NORAZ:
Christopher Lane, of Sedona
Meghan Jones, of Flagstaff
Christopher Fox Graham, of Sedona, and
Logan Philips, of Flagstaff.

Team Prescott:
Eric Larson, of Prescott, and a member of 2004 Team NORAZ
Patrick David DuHaime, of Prescott
David Rogers "Doc" Luben, of Prescott, and
Greg Nix, of Flagstaff

Team FlagSlam:
Aaron Johnson, of Flastaff, the fifth member of Team NORAZ
Kimmy Wilgus of Flagstaff
Rhett Pepe, of Flagstaff
John R. Kofonow, Slam Master of Flagstaff

The tournament consisted of all 10 teams competing in two preliminary rounds.

Christopher Lane, kicking off the slam with "if this poem," starting in the middle of the crowd and moving to the microphone as he performed. At the end of the first round, Team Mesa was ahead by a slim margin. But Meghan Jones' poem, "Where's Your Microphone?," a plea to the women poets in the crowd to become slam poets started off the second round with Team NORAZ in the lead, and the margin of victory only increased. Christopher Fox Graham's "We Call Him Papa" and Logan Philips' "The Boy's Pockets" cemented their lead.

As round two rolled around, Team Mesa came in fierce in the first slot. Team FlagSlam was in the third slot, followed by Team Prescott, and Team NORAZ in the sixth slot. Logan Philips started off with "Worth of Words," followed by Meghan Jones' "Patches", Christopher Fox Graham's "Spinal Language" and closing out the last round of the bout with Christopher Lane's "poetry is still."

The final bout would be the top 4 teams: Team NORAZ, Team Prescott,, Team Tucson and Team Mesa Nationals.

The night's poetry feature was Luke Warm Water, an activist, poet, epidemiologist an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, born and raised in Rapid City, S.D. Author of John Wayne Shot Me, Luke Warm Water, has performed across the United States, England and Germany, in 120 venues within the last 4 years. He was preceded by 2005 NORAZ Poets semi-finalist Rowie Shebala, of the Navajo Nation.

Team NORAZ now had a comfortable lead of 12 points. The finals bout was a "feature" round for the team. Christopher Lane performed "for Jessica…". Christopher Fox Graham brought out perhaps the most anticipated poem of the night, "The Peach is a Damn Sexy Fruit." Meghan Jones, made the night a hot one with the sensual, sexy "Honey." The line "caramelize me," melted the audience in their seats. To top out the night, Logan Philips performed "La Viejita de Sonora."

In the end:
Team NORAZ 339.4
Team Mesa Nationals 322.9
Team Prescott 320.9
Team Tucson 315.6

The night ended with a bronze pour at the Arcosanti Bronze Foundry where the Arconauts created the 40-pound bronze trophy, followed by a fire performance by Flam Chen, and a huge after-party that rolled until dawn.

Note that NORAZ Poets, not just Team NORAZ won the tournament. Of the 40 poets who competed, 13 of them were NORAZ Poets. We are a community of poets, not just a team, and not individuals. The victory and the trophy represents our strength as a community, unified in our diversity.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Cousin Erin is dead

ERIN ABIGAIL SHEER, 27, of San Francisco, CA, formerly of Louisville, passed away suddenly in San Francisco. Erin was born in Louisville on September 25, 1977. She was a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and the University of Louisville. She is survived by her parents, Hank and Georgia Sheer; her grandmothers, Luceille Sheer, Louisville, and Sylvia Redfield, Opheim, MT; aunts, Noel Sheer, Kenosha, WI, Lynn Cherry (Al), Fayetteville, NC, Cissie Elliott (Bill), Chandler, AZ, and Lisa Thieven (Marty), Peerless, MT; and uncles, Alan Redfield (Laurie), Pray, MT, and Les Redfield (Lisa) and Myron Redfield (Alice), all of Opheim. She is also survived by numerous cousins and many special friends. There will be private graveside services in Tabor, IA, and Opheim at a later date. Memorial gifts may be sent to the charity of the donor's choice. "Erin, you are loved. Our free spirit is really free."
Published in The Courier-Journal on 5/29/2005.

Erin was my oldest cousin. The cause of death is related to a methamphetamine overdose in San Francisco. She had a medical condition in which "uppers" affected her more than normal. There is a possibly of foul play in the case, but due to the drug relationship, there won't be an investigation from SFPD.

I'm now the eldest cousin in my mother's family. Erin was perhaps my closest cousin; she I were both liberals, artists (she had an arts degree with a focus in pottery), traveled the country extensively and loved to party. My aunts, including Erin's mother, went to identify her body. They said that she had lost 40 pounds since they had last seen her. When she was in Phoenix last, visiting my dying grandfather, she was exhibiting a lost of tweaker behavior - scatterbrained more than normal and sleeping a lot. In her last days, her roommate said she was doing lots of meth.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

"Sedona Underground" in newsstands Friday.

My first column in Sedona Red Rock News comes out Friday. It's called Sedona Underground and focuses on our local underground art scene. In Sedona, everyone is an artist of some kind, and if they're not, they're probably a tourist.

For Sedona locals who read my LiveJournal, pick up Friday's issue and tell me what you think. It's on Page 2 of The Scene.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In a month, you may call me Commissioner Christopher Fox Graham

Today, I interviewed with the Sedona City Council for a position on the Sedona Child and Youth Commission. It's a 7-member board made up of 4 teens and 3 adults. Biologically, I'm an adult, though I have much more in common with the teens.

Sometimes, I have a reoccurring dream where I'm doing some big formal event, like a benefit or a dinner or a meeting and I get stopped mid-sentence by an adult who tells me that I'm faking "adulthood." They tell me I'm not old enough and haven't grown up yet. Daniela sometimes calls me Peter Pan, but she doesn't know how often she's right. Except about the tights.

The interview went well. It was like those Senate hearings on C-SPAN. The questions were simple, but it was good to see how I handle formal pressure. Still Peter Pan, but I faked adulthood well.

Councilman Ernie Strauch asked if I had written a poem for the interview, which I hadn't, but offered to perform one.

Vice Mayor Susan Solomon was absent, which sucked, because I hear from my co-workers at Sedona Red Rock News that she asks a lot of hardball questions and really grills interviewees. I was hoping for a debate and tough questions - a real challenge of myself under pressure.

After the interview, about 30 minutes long, Mayor "Pud" Colquitt asked for a poem, and I performed "Spinal Language."

The City Hall chamber doubles as the Sedona Magistrate Court when council is not in session, so I'm sure a slam poem was the oddest thing ever performed in that room.

I won't hear if I was appointed until June 12 or later, after they interview the other candidate.

Michelle Branch was once sentenced to 36 hours of community service in that room for minor in possession of alcohol.