This morning's tattooed poet is Eric Morago, who shares these lines of verse from his forearm:
I am a BIG Charles Bukowski fan, so I immediately recognized these lines ("what matters most / is how you / walk through the / fire") when I saw the photo.
"The tattoo is taken from a the title of a collection of poems
by Charles Bukowski.
I got [the tattoo] over Thanksgiving break at a local tattoo shop (Body Art Tattoo) in my hometown of Whittier, CA during my first semester of grad school. I had just finished grading a bunch of papers as well as writing my own for a class and was just overwhelmed by what the next two years had in store for me that I wanted to do something commemorate the struggle ahead. So that when all was said and done, M.F.A in hand, there was also tangible proof (besides a piece of paper) for what I had I succeeded in obtaining. And the words would be a damn good reminder on those occasions where papers and grading and thesis deadlines loomed in the distance."By way of poetry, Eric offers up this tattoo-related gem:
A beautiful portrait of destruction,
her back is tattooed from shoulder
to shoulder—a giant octopus tears
boats apart with unworldly tendrils.
This turns me on. I am a prepubescent
again thinking I’ve found ambrosia
between the pages of Victoria’s Secret
catalogues. I get dizzy, lost in fantasy.
How though its body is submerged
in murky water, hidden by shading,
I believe the monster is winking at me.
I sit, imagine freckles into tiny frenzied
sailors jumping ship into the dark of her
skin, sinking down spine’s curve,
drowning, or falling into the creature’s
waiting, open-beaked mouth. I would
never tell her any of this, of course.
Better she stay in the peep, a shadowy
figure of myth. And like a yarn-spinning
seadog swearing by fantastical beasts—
all tentacles, sharp snouted and snarl
toothed—I too am ensnared, imagination
entangled in the suction-cupped arms
of wanting. It is all I can do to fight,
struggle being pulled under an inky
veil where our eyes can clearly meet,
where any and all mystique is gone.
~ ~ ~
Eric Morago is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet who believes performance carries as much importance on the page, as it does off. Currently Eric is an an associate reviewer for Poetix.net, poet-in-residence with California WorkforceAssociation, and teaches workshops for Red Hen Press’ Writing in the Schools program.
His first full length collection of poetry and prose entitled, What We Ache For, is available from Moon Tide Press. Eric holds an
MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach and lives to write in Whittier, CA.
Thanks to Eric for sharing his poem and tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.