Today's tattooed poet is Caitlin Roach, who shared this very simple tattoo:
Caitlin tells us about her ink:
"When I first met my husband, transcendent essayist José Orduña, we fell fast and hard in love. A couple weeks in he told me he wanted me to tattoo him–something boundless and chaotic, whatever I thought of in the moment–an infatuated request of pure impulse. The only calculated part of the plan was that we would tattoo one another. We had a no. 2 pencil, a sewing needle, thread, and some India ink, and Bill Callahan played from tinny laptop speakers as I scribbled something on his arm as an outline. The tattoo I started that night (it really was a scribble, a non-thing) didn’t get finished. The popping sound of the needle entering his skin with each poke nauseated us both. We never switched turns, and we decided we would finish another time.
Four years later we were married, his tattoo still unfinished and mine yet started. The night of our one-year wedding anniversary, in Albuquerque where we were living at the time, on another impulsive whim, we sat at our kitchen table with a needle, a pencil, some thread, and the same bottle of ink. We would finish the job we started and add something additional to mark our first year of marriage. I ended up with a small, lower-case j on my wrist, he with a c on his. I never completed his scribble, and it’s still unfinished.
A friend of ours noticed them once and asked if we 'paid about 50 cents' for them, noting they looked like they’d fallen off the table and landed in our laps. Mine’s gritty and inexact and looks more like a fish hook than a j. But it’s a permanent artifact of that night and I love that. It’s like its own little voice on my wrist, always calling my attention and getting it because I notice it several times a day. I love that, amidst all the rational calculation that directs so much of our lives, there’s still an impulsive spontaneity that surfaces up between us. My husband swears he’s done with homemade tattoos, but I’m not so certain. I just need to upgrade on materials–maybe learn how to make a proper (still homemade) tattoo gun."Caitlin shared the following poem, as well:
Copyright (c) 2018 by Caitlin Roach; first appeared on TinHouse.com.
~ ~ ~
forthcoming in Best New Poets 2017, Poetry Northwest, Tin House, Colorado Review, The Journal, West Branch, Copper Nickel, Prelude, Handsome, and The Iowa Review. You can find her at caitlinroach.com.
Thanks to Caitlin for sharing her poem and tattoo with us here on The Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2018 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.