Today's tattooed poet is Samuel Piccone, who sent us this photo:
This tattoo was done by Chris Henry (@chrishenry_tattoos) at Tainted Hearts Creations (@taintedheartscreations) in Greeley, Colorado (he has since opened his own studio in San Francisco with a few other artists from Tainted Hearts called Tattoo Boogaloo @tattooboogaloo). Most of my tattoos were done there, and Chris did [the] majority of them.
This tattoo is the cover art for Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s collection of stories, Mandarins.
I was introduced to Akūtagawa in an undergraduate modern literature course at the University of Northern Colorado and was hooked immediately. I was just starting to write poetry, and to read short stories that were so imagistic and experimental blew my mind, so much so that I went to the bookstore right after class and bought everything I could find of his, which included this collection. Around this time, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and it felt like I had finally discovered a voice that reflected the strange, melancholic beauty of the world I was experiencing myself. He holds a special place in my life as a person and a writer, and whenever I’m looking for a way to say the sad thing in the most beautiful way, I can turn to any story of his and find what exactly what I’m looking for.Samuel sent us the following poem, as well:
There are ghosts inside you that haven’t eaten in centuries;
I bought a nightlight for your side of the bed
hoping to chase the shadows from your body,
unblacken the toothy bruises on my neck.
I wanted the plastic luster of a half-moon
to turn bite marks into the glossed feathers
one finds thrashed and littered after a kill,
a sign there’s nothing left to consume.
But in the dead quiet of afterglow,
night is a slow blue pang, and it drains me,
how you kiss like love is something to feed.
Every wound I manage to close peels open like a husk.
What if marriage is like this, just two people in a room
afraid to starve alone? Like nightjars with fractured beaks,
all we have is the hunger on our tongues, petrified mothdust
under our talons, a bed that deepens with each lick.
~ ~ ~
Thanks to Samuel for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.