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.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

In the corners of this room

In the corners of this room,
the dust is centuries thick
accumulated from the hundreds of thousands
of footfalls that have shaken the hardwood floors

in the corners, the dust narrates stories
of surviving the earthquake that leveled the city of Lisbon
in 1755 but left this building standing

its tiled walls still echoes the voices
of the men from the 16th century
who filled this library
whispering to each other
the truths that they gleaned from illuminated books

this dust heard Napoleon at the gates
held safe the patriots that resisted him
the vaulted arches comforted both factions
in the civil war without choosing sides
to further divide the brothers already at war

the dust in this room withstood the revolution,
the coup d'état, the book-burners,
the two world wars
and the end of an empire

the dusted lasted all these years
but never has it seen anything
as beautiful as her

she, the dancer, glides across this hardwood floor
on bruised and battered toes
her arms ache from repeating the movements
until they are flawless

she takes the train
the bus, the metro
to come here
suffer the abuse of a teacher demanding no less
than perfection
she is intimidated by her own passion
yet will not surrender

she, the dancer, is artistry in motion,
skimming over the hardwood
with every limb, every ounce of her
articulating all the poetry that used to fill this room

books are no longer necessary
define beauty … watch her
what is art? … watch her
is there a god? … watch her
speak to me a radiant poem about a sun rise …
watch her and the poem
will spill from lips like breath

she does not move like us
her muscles are an army
every part, an instrument
combining the chorus of her feet
with the brass of her legs
the strings of her arms
the percussion of her chest
beating her heart drum
in rhythm to the symphony of her presence
if the tiles had eyes
they would not blink
fearing that she would wisp away like a dream
in the sunrise streaming through the windows

fill this space with the memory of your movements
dance across these wood floors that creak underfoot
and ache to hold your steps
for a moment,
like a lover would

as she dances at the center of the world
the dust, in the corners of this room,
forgets all the years
forgets the wars, the blood, the books, the whispers
and she,
at this moment
is why this building stands