David tells us:
"Almost all of my tattoos are religious in nature. I was raised in a family which is Catholic on both sides all the way down the line. It was part of my daily life: Catholic school, Sunday mass, etc. While I no longer practice my faith, it was the stories, and particularly the images, that have stayed with me and become part of my fabric, and, over the years, part of my body. Whether it's my sleeve devoted to the death of Christ or the portrait of St. Sebastian, my tattoos represent a belief I no longer subscribe to but secretly hope is true. They are monuments to the haunting images of my youth. Monuments to the haunting images still playing on a loop in my mind in my adulthood. I cannot separate my self from that which shaped me, and from my choices in tattoos it's evident I don't want to even if I could."
He credited all of his work displayed here to Josh Jones from Good Ink Tattoo in Waterbury, Vermont.
David tells us that the poem he sent us, My Inventory is a Wilderness, takes its title from a letter written by Larry Eigner and was first published at Weird Deer. He invites you yo listen to the audio recording here:
My Inventory is a Wilderness
I have taken stock.
I am not a river.
Not even stones
in a river are my bones,
not smoothed by current
or skipped by teenagers
ditching school to smoke weed
in the woods out of an empty soda can.
I shake rusted fishhooks from my hair,
tie line around my wrists until they bleed.
My thoughts are a character in a Bergman film
riding a horse along a jagged path,
no, lying in my brother’s arms
on the bottom of an abandoned boat.
My tongue is a tree.
My words are fallen twigs
that snap under the weight of your boot.
My love is a plane somewhere on the side of a mountain.
listened to on headphones as the plane went down.
I smash my teeth with a rock to relieve the pain.
I write letters addressed to no one pleading for forgiveness,
then burn them in a pile of leaves.
My hands are ash.
My limbs smolder.
When I try to sleep, ghosts lean against my lids,
blow rings from phantom cigarettes.
I tell them to leave, but don't mean it.
~ ~ ~
Thanks to David for contributing to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoos are reprinted with the poet's permission.