Knowing Tattoosday readers would want a better glimpse of the work (the photo is cool but the half typewriter doesn't really showcase the ink), Gilson complied with my request for a better photo of the tattoo, with a bit of humor:
D. Gilson explained that "this typewritter is the one Frank O’Hara used to write Lunch Poems, which is the book that made me want to become a writer more than any other." He credited Nathan Mould at Artisan Tattoo Gallery in Pittsburgh with the work.
He also shared this poem, which comes from the book Crush, with Will Stockton:
At the Bathhouse, Scholars Discuss The Oceanic Feeling
A Miltonist and a Poet walk into a steamroom.
The Miltonist says, I want to watch you fuck him.
The Poet does not hear this because the Miltonist
does not say this. But the Poet knows this truth.
Freud says it’s natural we long to see ourselves
as one with the world. That the ego has a way
of denying dangers it sees in threat of this desire.
The Poet will claim he does not want to possess
the Miltonist. A typewriter drips on his enjambed
chest as the Poet fucks a man for the Miltonist.
What these two boys know is especially this: perhaps
everyone wants to be desired for possession. Satan
heaves on the arm of the Miltonist as he watches
the Poet fuck. Their tattoos, a permanent possession
under the dim wattage of steamroom fluorescents.
I watch you finish and finish myself, wipe the sweat
from my eyes, the past from my feet, as we leave.
~ ~ ~
D. Gilson is the author of I Will Say This Exactly One Time: Essays (Sibling Rivalry, 2015); Crush (Punctum Books, 2014), with Will Stockton; Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize. He is Assistant Professor of English at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and his work has appeared in PANK, The Indiana Review, The Rumpus, and as a notable essay in Best American Essays. Find him at dgilson.com.
Thanks to D. Gilson for sharing his poem and tattoo with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.