Although many of these poets find me, I have written to hundreds of poets over the last six years and asked the, "Do you have a tattoo?"
Many do not reply, but many do, even those who have not felt the tattooist's needle. Sometimes thy're replies are memorable.
In advance of the seventh (!) installation of the Tattooed Poet's Project, I thought I'd share a few responses.
On February 9 of this year, Sholeh Wolpe responded to my inquiry in a lovely way sending this photo:
and these words:
What an interesting solicitation.
Years ago I was marked by glass.
A scar is an inkless tattoo.
Here is a poem, from Keeping Time With Blue Hyacinths (University of Arkansas Press, 2013):
We are drinking scotch on Sunset Blvd.,a block from the Scientology church,the tourist trinket shops and the sex parlors.
I tell him I’m an alien, lift my arm to show my scar,
the way I flash my passport at immigration.
He bends across the narrow table, pushing aside plates,squints, then runs a finger along the carved hairlineand whispers, yes, yes."
~ ~ ~
Sholeh Wolpé is a poet, writer, editor, and literary translator. She was born in Iran and spent most of her teen years in Trinidad and the UK before settling in the United States.
A recipient of the 2013 Midwest Book Award and 2010 Lois Roth Persian Translation prize, Wolpé is the author of three collections of poetry and two books of translations, and is the editor of three anthologies.
Thanks to Sholeh for sharing. It is not a tattoo, in the traditional sense, but it makes one think. And the words are wonderful. Please visit Ms. Wolpe's page here to read more.
This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and photo are reprinted with the poet's permission.