Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jane Crown on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is Jane Crown, who shared this tattoo:


Jane credited an English artist named Oliver from Pulse Tattoos on St.Peter's Way, in Northampton, England. The "M" placed on the back of her neck, she explained, "is to serve the memory of such goodness in her brother whom died." She added, "the lettering is further a nod to the individual whom she spent her year abroad with,whom made her brave enough to leave home for that long."

Jane sent us the following poem:

A & E

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality.
But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty,
socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude".
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Nearly six in the morning, lungs do not tell time the

way night does. You employ guileless steps in the

ambulance of how to be stroppy with your wheezing.

You use your eyes ,roll them unapprovinlgy towards

the notion of dying in a vehicle as they drive slower

towards help. Sickness when it has an American

accent ,even if not heard fully, truly annoys some

foreigners. You sit ready to plead your case before

doctors and staff once steel doors lament you upon

inner sanctum. You feel satonic jabs of blood

tests in lieu of betterment to breathe. Jokes help

as you have pasties with leads of snakes , making

your breasts freeze behind paper curtains barely

cosied in chagrin. Machines go inky dark , turn

into undignified balloons,not made for health

or virtue. You boyfriend is on the way, but he's

late, him and his white horse now stippled brown.

You lay your head down in the unit , finally a bed.

It's been eleven harrowing hours misting in

corridors of agony alone. An orderly tells you

to close your eyes, this new world of peaceful

innovation is yours. The room is filled with deciduous

eyes, Mother comes to mind. You miss her lap, her

worrying for you, as you carry on your life inconsiderate

of hers. They discharge you cleanly in two day's time,

giving you standing orders you comply to your

confidence ,all will be all right. Nothing so calming

as a puff of air in a can .Grateful at last you are for

strict Socialism bought with government currency .

You've only paid with one long journey in a first class

seat , paralleled with your expatriot boldness to

procure and exploit its expediency. Hateful are the

strangers, your brand new emergency family.

~ ~ ~

Jane Crown is an award-winning author and American archivist. Her published books include Her
Delicate Shoe (Polymer Grove Press) and A Love Letter to Darwin (Lummox Press). She is the
Publishing Editor of Heavy Bear Journal and Host for Jane Crown's Poetry Radio Show. She
is currently working on her 3rd book of poems after a year's trip abroad entitled,This Little Room.
Her further publications, audio archives and books can be found by a simple search engine.

Thanks to Jane for sharing her poem and tattoo with us on the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Athena's Owl on Jennifer Martelli (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Jennifer Martelli, who shared this photo with us:


She tells us:
"I got this tattoo down in Hyannis, Massachusetts, at a great shop called Spilt Milk. A wonderful tattoo artist named Pablo did my very first tattoo there while I was on vacation, so when I returned a few years later, that’s where I went. I chose this design for a few reasons: first, I love owls (and cats—that beauty is Maria); second, this is Athena’s owl, and I love the fact that Athena was birthed from her father’s head; I love that she was a war goddess, that she wore a girdle made of snakes, and that she remained a virgin—all things that frighten me! My owl is consistent with two of my other tattoos, which are drawn with one single line in black ink. The only color tattoo I have is my purple Alzheimer’s ribbon on my wrist, in memory of my mother (that’s a whole different story)."
The poem Jennifer chose to accompany this tattoo is called, “Inversals,” and it was published in [PANK] last fall:

Inversals


I.

A woman, made famous after fellating a powerful man, dreams of Francis Ford Coppola’s oranges tearing a hole through her brown sack, bouncing past the crow perched on the curb cawing: Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa! Dreams of an orange slice covering the teeth of an old man with one bad eye under the black grape vineyard.  Of the rind pared off with a sharp knife into a perfect coil. Of the sections pulled apart like small bloody lungs, each an aspirated sigh. The oranges portend death by deals and death by bullets and death by garrote and lightning bolts. Dreams she excretes a senator a president a judge a river a volcano in Sicily.  She thinks, if only a mandolin played in the background of my life, it would be far less nuanced.  She’d eat black olives and fresh cheese; rice; sip espresso in bone demitasse. There would be windows in badly painted rooms, thick with white leaded paint. People would fall from the windows and she’d call them suicides or hopeful for some believed they could fly.  If a mandolin played, the fall would be profound. She’d look up from her lunch she’d spread on the lawn by the black grape vineyard:  the thick mozzarella, the squid ink vermicelli, the plums.


II.

While at a poetry reading, she ponders how some women are born from their father’s heads and ask to remain virgins forever. Bunny Putnam, great-great-great-grandson of witch hunters and witch accusers, a man secure enough to be called Bunny, has a plaque on the wall at the Athenaeum, across from the bookshelves where the taxidermied owls sit, dusty. Women born from their fathers’ heads take on the worst aspects of their fathers: they brood like owls, awake all night and they hunt so silently any maps or photos taped to the wall fall off.  Or, fuses blow and a darkness drops so sudden you wonder, Did I die? or Am I truly not here? which is what the case is: truly, you are not here. Or truly, you did die because the sirens are wailing outside the Athenaeum. No one likes sitting in a pitch black room. No one likes crouching inside a hollow skull. Athena grew inside Zeus’s head and poked the bone plates with her spear until his pain caused lightning storms all over the North Shore. He swore never to swallow a woman again, even if he was caught philandering. She’d assumed Bunny was a woman, especially when trying to decide if she was here, or there, or with the owls. How strong he must have been to earn that moniker, Bunny: the gentlest, horniest beast of all that God made, the easiest prey.

~ ~ ~

Jennifer Martelli’s debut poetry collection, The Uncanny Valley, was published in 2016 by Big Table Publishing Company. She is also the author of the chapbook, Apostrophe and the chapbook, After Bird, forthcoming from Grey Book Press. Her work has appeared in Thrush, [Pank], Glass Poetry Journal, The Heavy Feather Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as a co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Blog Folio.


Thanks to Jennifer for her contribution to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stephen Shimmans and His Owl on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is Stephen Shimmans, who shared this wonderful tattoo:


Stephen told us "I chose this tattoo design as I consider myself solitary, and possess many qualities associated with the owl ... Wisdom, sharp eyes, graceful and determined."

He shared the following poem, "Battle Grounds," as well: 


Temples have been razed to the ground
Idols have perished in the vapid heat of orange flames.
Tongues severed, men crucified in the arid desert.
Waning clemency a virtuous humanisation.
It casts a pall like a pale veil that enshrouds.
Gifting both intriguing mystery and smokeless ignorance.
Clicking triggers
Triggers clicking.
Blanc
Blank
Mars    Zeus    Odin
Under the glimmering belt of Orion
Ursus roar
Savage animal is man
Behest of any redemption or realisation
Dishonour and faux camaraderie
Watch the setting sun sink below
Twilight
Swinging and swooning on the star strings.

The arrows fly yet bite
The sword gleams but kills
Renders flesh
Cleaving limbs
Crushing bones.
Called to King
To die for country.

The reaping reavr reaps that which he shall sow
Seeds of wheat and buck
The ale inebriates, dulls life pain
Dull mendacity sour despair and disbelief.
Father-less child
Retreat in defeat.

Blood soaked emblems flap defiantly against a cold breeze.
Brothers who fell in battle shall love nevermore.
The reaper calls with scythe in hand,
To collect the bounty,

To collect the wood from our crosses we bear.


~ ~ ~

Stephen Shimmans tells us he is a 29- year old father of three boys and "married to the most wonderful woman on earth." He likes to spend time wrestling with the children and exploring local country parks. He completed a degree in English and Creative Writing at Salford University in greater Manchester, UK. He has had a pamphlet of poetry, entitled Roots,  published with Erbacce Press.

Thanks to Stephen for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Kathleen Szoke's Blue Jay on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Kathleen Szoke, a Canadian poet with a stunning tattoo:


Kathleen tells us about her lovely blue jay tattoo:
"[It]  is in memory of an experience I had several years ago.  At a weekend retreat, we were asked to write a journal entry about owning our truth, and speaking out about what we wanted.  I wrote a piece about being a poet, owning that, and saying, 'I'm a poet.'  I had been ambivalent in the past about stating that, instead of just, 'Oh, I write poems sometimes, it's a hobby.'  We were taking turns reading our pieces, and the reaction I got was extremely enthusiastic, more than I expected.  The others explained that what I didn't know was that just after I started to speak, a blue jay appeared on a tree outside the window behind me.  It stayed until I finished speaking, and then flew away.  I never saw it myself, as it was behind me, over my left shoulder, which is where my blue jay sits now forever.  Unfortunately, the written piece was one of many things lost in a fire, so all I have left of that experience is the tattoo."
Kathleen credited the artist Carol at Sinkin Ink (@sinkin_ink) in Hamilton, Ontario, with this lovely blue jay.

Kathleen sent us the following poem to accompany her tattoo:

Witness

The blue jay called to me today
raucous and shrill
from the still barren lilacs
rising above the fence
outside the kitchen window.
He appears there sometimes
or on the old birch tree
perched at the very top
caws his discordant song.

He sat behind my shoulder once
beyond my sight
in the branches of another tree
outside another window
listened as I spoke truths
I only half believed.
When I finished
he flew away.

He stops by
on occasion
to remind me.

~ ~ ~

Kathleen Szoke is a poet writing in Burlington, Ontario.  She has been published in Canadian literary journals, such as The Antigonish ReviewThe Dalhousie Review, and the American/Canadian journal The Great Lakes ReviewShe has read her poetry at the Eden Mills Writer's Festival, the Kingston Artfest, and other local venues.  She sits on the executive of the Hamilton Poetry Centre, and is an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets.  She published a chapbook, Heavenly Blue, in 2011.

Thanks to Kathleen for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on The Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Paul Hlava and a Ring on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is Paul Hlava, who sent us this photo:


This is a simple tattoo, with a simple explanation.

"I had just gotten married, and my partner and I wanted something to mark the occasion, Paul explained. He went to Graceland Tattoo in Brooklyn, noting "We both liked the simplicity of a geometric shape and all the metaphors and implications of a circle, or ring."

Paul shared the following poem, as well:

Pendulum, Balance Wheel, Escape


Because I live in a clocktower
time moves in reverse.
When I eat I am hungry,
when I wake, the golden weight
dances at the end of its chain.
Gears twist like reptilian
claws of ospreys
planting fish in the sea.
The bells ring twice, once
in the distance and once inside.
The moon is rising just so.
I’m the steady center
of a spinning world.
Every triumph I will achieve is memory.
My daughters walked out on me
before they were born.
Undeveloped photos hang on the wall.
The apples have been moved
to another room. 
~ ~ ~

Paul Hlava's poetry has appeared in Narrative Magazinethe PEN Poetry Series, Acentos Review, and Best New Poets, among others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA from New York University and was a Poets House Fellow. He now lives in Seattle. Visit him at www.paulhlava.com.

Thanks to Paul for sharing his poem and tattoo with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Matthew Guenette on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Matthew Guenette:


Matthew sent me a few photos and I selected this one because, he explained:
"...THAT tattoo was given to me by the incredible poet (and tattoo artist) Ruth Awad. I was in Carbondale at the time, for a reading, and Ruth gave me and the poet Traci Brimhall free tattoos to commemorate our time there. Ruth did the tattoos in her apartment, in her kitchen if I remember correctly. My tattoo is a '33', with the second '3' reversed, thus creating a kind of '8' that one might also read as an infinity symbol. 33 is how old I was when I got married; a few months later, still 33, my mother died. That the tattoo also makes something of an '8' is for August, the name of my son. I love this tattoo...That it evokes an infinity symbol allows me to pour into the tattoo any number of meanings..."
Ruth Awad appeared on the Tattooed Poets Project last year, here, and the tattoo she gave Traci Brimhall appeared back in 2012 here.

Matthew sent us the following poem, as well:

I Will Not Mention Him

I will not mention his small-handed excuses.
His covetous old-man-ness.
His blundering baboon-blood.
I will not mention his locker-room banter.
His ugly, ill-fitting suits.
I won’t mention his paid thugs, his goons who hit below the belt.
I won’t mention what he said about your mother.
How he wants to sue her.
How he called her a drunk.
I will not mention what he claimed in Pensacola; Toledo; Kinston, NC; Gettysburg; Delaware, OH; Portsmouth, NH; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; and I especially won’t mention what he claimed in Jackson, MS; in Birmingham; or in South Carolina and Iowa.
I will not mention all that stinks about him like a flooded creek.
I will not mention what he said about women and where he likes to grab them.
I will not mention what he said about Muslims.
I will not mention what he said about Syrians.
I will not mention what he said about Mexicans and walls.
What he said about Asians and deals.
What he said about black lives.
I won’t mention every racist little bone in his body.
His heartless heart.
His bat-shit tweets at 3 a.m. for his hooting rabblement and their chapped hands.
I won’t mention the drought in his brain or the cricket in the basement of his brain chirping somewhere behind an empty box.
I won’t mention his 30,000 fears and corruptions.
I won’t mention his recurring dream where, in flames, he rides his tongue like a deranged horse into the valley.
It’s so beautiful outside. Isn’t it lovely?


~ ~ ~

Matthew Guenette is the author of three full length poetry collections: Vasectomania (U. of Akron Press, 2017), American Busboy (U. of Akron Press, 2011), and Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008). He is also the author of the chapbook Civil Disobedience (Rabbit Catastrophe Press, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems have appeared in numerous journals and reviews. He has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Hessen-Wisconsin Fellowship. A graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University, Matt currently teaches composition and creative writing at Madison College in Madison, WI, where he lives with his wife, two kids, and a 20 lb cat named Butternut. 


Thanks to Matt for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Risa Denenberg, Two Fish, and a Yellow Star (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Risa Deneberg, who shared this astrological tattoo:


Risa tells us:
"My single permanent tattoo is on my right inner arm and is a Pisces (two fish). The story of that tattoo goes back to the 90's in the East Village, when the cops finally managed to evict a drug dealer from the store beneath my apartment. The new tenant was a tat artist. I wanted to welcome him to the neighborhood, so I was his first customer. I love tattoos, but am reluctant to get more on my now aging skin."
Risa also shared the following photo of a temporary tattoo that she uses as her profile picture and also hands out at book fairs:

I saved Risa's post for today because the poem she submitted is appropriate for the observance of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which starts at sundwon. The poem was originally published in Lavender Review in 2011:

Yellow Star

In my case, the yellow star
will be made of two perfect pink triangles
cut from cheap dry goods at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
where the women
sew stars on at the ready
hunched over their Singers
and, not wasting time on stairs,
work right up to closing time, then jump.

They didn’t want to die so young
and neither did the gay boys who died in droves
at the close of the last century. I would be one
who would beg you to shoot me
who would know that borders lie
that I could not endure the march through the woods
in the snow to the trains at the end.

We who say never forget
also know that it could happen again
to us
and we do not know more now
than we did then
how to make it stop.

The stitching never ends. For practice,
I have sutured my arm to my sleeve
with triangles made from pages torn
from the Book of Job.

~ ~ ~

Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is an editor at Headmistress Press, an independent publisher of poetry by lesbians. She has published three chapbooks, and two full length books, most recently, Whirlwind @ Lesbos (Headmistress Press, 2016). Her collection “A Slight Faith” is forthcoming in 2018 from MoonPath Press. She blogs at http://risadenenberg.weebly.com.

Thanks to Risa for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.