Monday, April 22, 2019

Theresa Senato Edwards Returns to the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is a long-time supporter and friend of the Tattooed Poets Project, Theresa Senato Edwards. Theresa first contributed back in 2010, launching our second installment of tattooed poets. Her contribution can be re-visited here.

She has graciously shared four of her "newest" tattoos:


She tells us her "calf tattoo has grown and finally has become what I had really wanted from the start," adding that "the others [below] all connect to each other and the calf tattoo in some way."


Theresa tells us about these two:
"The finger tattoo is extra special to me. My tattoo artist and I designed it on the spot, and I wanted it on my right index finger b/c it was always a bit painful to wear a ring on that finger b/c of an infection I got after minor surgery when I was a teen. Now I wear something simple, one-of-a-kind, beautiful, and permanent on that finger--pain free!"
She also shared this lovely piece:


Theresa is a huge fan of her tattoo artist, Kelly Torres (@kellytorrestattoos) from Black Cherry Tattoo Studio (@blackcherrytattoostudios) in Lagrangeville, New York. She raves:
"Kelly is extremely talented, empathetic, and KICK ASS. It took me years to find the right tattoo artist for me (my son Richard recommended her), and I wouldn't go to anyone else now--love her-especially that she doesn't mind if I ask to come back for touch ups! She gets it and gets me."
Theresa also sent us the following poem, originally published in Amethyst Arsenic, and is in her newest manuscript:

Beauty

He had never considered just how exquisite a vein could be until he looked at dying plants, studied the fast absorption of drugs.

You remembered virtuosity in a workshop on John Cage    the beauty of repetition chance the importance of milk for the boxer in Cinderella Man.  It was something about milk then repetition or milk then cum or milk and family.  
Or milk and milk and milk and family and milk and importance and milk and chance.  And mi
                       
There’s fear in indeterminacy, when time becomes vague / unspecified / undiscovered.  But he protects love’s limbo with science. Safe delivery systems to contain time’s hazardous gases.
 
He knows you want to regenerate.  Visual harmony distracts reflective linear movement / your disorder    and ghosts.
You remember absorption, water a clear slab of glass.  
~ ~ ~

Theresa Senato Edwards has published two full-length poetry books, one, with painter Lori Schreiner, which won The Tacenda Literary Award for Best Book, and two chapbooks. Her first chapbook, The Music of Hands, was recently published in a revised second print edition by Seven CirclePress. Poems from her newest manuscript titled “Wing Bones” can be found in Stirring, Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Thrush, Diode, Rogue Agent, Mom Egg Review, Menacing Hedge, and forthcoming in MOIRA. Edwards was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, received creative writing residencies from Drop Forge & Tool (2015 and 2018) and Craigardan (2019), and is Editor in Chief of The American Poetry Journal (APJ). Her website is here.

A hearty thanks to Theresa for returning to us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!



This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Danielle Hanson, Her Heron, Her Vine (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Danielle Hanson, who shared two tattoos with us, both credited to Matt Greenhalgh (@mattgreenhalgh) at Only You Tattoo (@onlyyoutattoo) in Atlanta. Danielle elaborates:
"The first is a yellow-crowned night heron on my right shoulder.

As a former coxswain in college in Tennessee, the rivers in the Southeast feel like home, and I thought I knew our wading birds well. Then I heard of the yellow-crowned night heron, and that it had been spotted near my house in Atlanta, at the lake created by mining mud for bricks. The area was super sketch, but I continued visiting it for a year before I found the bird at dusk one night, having walking into the woods with two men who were drunk and stumbling, slightly ominous but so of the earth. The bird was waiting for me at the end of the trail. The men went further into the woods, and I, out. I had earned the bird on my body. 
My second tattoo is of a scarlet runner bean vine on my left calf.

I garden, and always plant this green bean variety when I can get the seeds. I don’t even like green beans, but the vine is so delicate and lovely, I plant it anyway and leave the beans on a neighbor’s porch in a grown-up version of ding-dong-ditch. The picture ... of this tattoo is of me standing in front of the vine itself, growing in the garden of a friend in Minowa in the Central Japanese Alps. It seems she, too, couldn’t resist the beauty of it. The tattoos together can only be seen from behind me, and there they move from the bottom left to the upper right—up and to the right—a movement suggesting positive motion. It was an imperative in my old job in marketing at AT&T that we always keep our business metrics moving up and to the right, and I think that’s a good way to try to live too."
Danielle also shared the following unpublished poem:

The moon is disappearing into the fields
  
The moon is disappearing into the fields as
war approaches the horizon. Morning crawls
from a crack and seeks a cave to hide. The crows
refuse to cede the morning to the doves.
Our shadows cling to us for warmth. How do we unfold
the shrouds that holds our souls?  How
do we lift them from sleep like angels in the Last Judgement? 
How do we not let the path walk off itself and be lost?
There are holes all over the earth that lead the way
to the underworld. There are fewer mountains for the gods to live. 
It seems we already know we will sink into the ground
like our whispers.  Despite sky burials and cliff coffins,
we mostly still place our dead in the earth,
and expect them to stay.

~ ~ ~

Danielle Hanson is the author of Fraying Edge of Sky (Codhill Press Poetry Prize, 2018) and Ambushing Water (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2017). Her work won the Vi Gale Award from Hubbub, was Finalist for 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award and was nominated for several Pushcarts and Best of the Nets. She is Poetry Editor for Doubleback Books, and is on the staff of the Atlanta Review. More about her at daniellejhanson.com.

Thanks to Danielle for sharing her cool tattoos and poetry with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!



This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoos are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Kathryn McMurray on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is Kathryn McMurray:


In the picture above, we can see two tattoos, both done by James Real at American Beauty Tattoo Parlor (@americanbeautytattoo) in Sunset Beach, CA.

Kathryn elaborates:
"The piece on the arm above my head is a design by Angelique Houtkamp (@angeliquehoutkamp) of Amsterdam ( I got her permission to use the design), but James Real augmented it to put his and my own own stamp on it. Houtkamp’s style is vintage and many of her designs are an homage to old-school tattoo styles from the early 20th century. I selected the design because the face reminds me of Dorothy Parker, a hero of mine, so to make the design custom, we added a book beneath her owl body. Owls have traditionally represented wisdom.
The tattoo on my right arm is an image taken from a 1950s film festival poster. The original artist is René Gruau, a French-Italian artist who became famous for doing artwork for the Moulin Rouge and fashion sketches and artwork for fashion magazines, like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and the couture houses in Paris, like Dior and Chanel. His work typically depicts women enjoying life, which is what initially attracted me to his work. I used to work in the wholesale fashion industry in downtown LA when I was going to college, which is where I was exposed to his work. I got the tattoo in 2004, the year he died."
Kathryn also sent us a poem from her chapbook called “Moon Travel”:


Moon Travel

In zero gravity, a bra floats past a console of bleeps and bloops.
No one is wondering if NASA’s soap dries out the complexion, but
how do you change a tampon in a space suit?

38,000 miles away from Earth, the lunar pull is familiar.
A great, great, great grandmother of mine must have stared up
at the same moon from a prairie in Missouri 160 years ago.

I see her doubled over, clothespin in hand. Her face a grimace.
Sanitary belt pinching her waist, she digs a boot into the soil,
the Earth, straightens her back and then continues her work.

Linens collected, she pauses to breathe and, head tilted up
to the sky, there she sees the moon in day, white and full,
gazing back at her with sympathy, pulling her home.

That night, the cramps throb.  She turns and tosses in the moonlight
beaming in through her window, splayed over her abdomen, but once sleep comes,
she dreams of stars, the dusty surface of strange places, dark and open silence,
 and laughing, naked women floating, spinning through a void.

~ ~ ~

Kathryn McMurray’s chapbook, If Your Body Is a Broken Landscape, was published by Picture Show Press in 2019. Her poetry has appeared in The Bastille, Pearl, Red Rock Review, Nerve Cowboy, and the anthologies V and Redshift 1. She earned her MFA from California State University, Long Beach in 2004. She resides in Long Beach, CA with her two sons and musician-educator partner.

Thanks to Kathryn for sharing her tattoos and poetry 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.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Allison Wilkins, an Octopus and a Poem in Greek (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Allison Wilkins, who sent us a couple of her tattoos:


Allison explained the origins of this octopus:
"The octopus tattoo was drawn by my artist friend, Lib Hedgepath, and inked by tattoo artist Ethan (@ethan_franklin_jrt) at James River Tattoo (@jamesrivertattoo) (Lynchburg, VA, 1337 Main Street). I got the tattoo in 2013, a transitional year for me: between the acceptance of and publication of my first book, Girl Who; this was also the year I got divorced. The octopus became a kind of totem animal for me, a sea beast that was highly intelligent and adaptable (I’m a Pisces). Also, it represents the place, Greece, where I eventually found a second home. But at the time I got my tattoo, I just associated Greece with starting over and living authentically."
Then there is this piece on her back:


Allison notes this is a poem by Titos Patríkios and it:
"... was inked by James River Tattoo in 2012. For me, it marked falling in love with a place: Greece. I went there for a summer workshop and met three other incredible women. We designated ourselves Siren Sisters, explored every nook and cranny of that island, ate delicious meals, and wrote poems. I have never felt more connected to a group of women or to myself. This poem, 'My Flesh,' came from a collection of poems that I was reading that summer. My friend, Joanna Eleftheriou, helped me to translate the poem, but also to learn it in Greek. So I suppose, this also marks my beginning of learning to speak Modern Greek."
Allison sent along her poem "Wants New Mythology" from her collection Girl Who:

Wants New Mythology

Her myth begins coming up from the sea
and ends with two sparrows in flight. In between,

the narrative will unfold, but not neatly.
And it won’t be obvious. There’s a long

litany of gods, a token heroine of divine birth.
There will be dancing and chickpeas.

Barrels of white wine. Island moonshine.
After opening in medias res,

(the island god coming up from the sea,)
there follows a long dissertation

on the texture of sand. Then
another about the slight burn

of Greek sun. Then she will skip
to honeysuckle plucked

by an ambiguous hand.
And sea urchins. Rock formations at Sikamia.

She will refuse all battle scenes
and trips to the underworld.

She will make no mention of desire
or music. Yes, she’ll leave the final image

alone: two sparrows, side by side in flight
before parting. One heading left, the other right.

~ ~ ~

Allison Wilkins is the author of Girl Who. Other poems and essays have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Superstition Review, and The Lyric. She is the assistant director for Writing Workshops in Greece
(@WWIGThasos). She tweets @wilkins_poet.

Thanks to Allison for sharing her tattoos and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!





This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Adam Tamashasky Thinks About Darwin (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Adam Tamashasky, who sent us this photo of his tattoo:


Adam tells us:
"This image comes out of Charles Darwin’s B Notebook from 1837; as he pored over his notes and began to coalesce his thinking on evolution by natural selection, he sketched a few lines branching from a central trunk. Above this image he wrote merely, 'I think.' I decided to get this tattooed on my inner arm because it represents a couple deep truths for me: one, that we’re bound to each other and all forms of life through tangible, concrete lines; two, humans have the powers of reason and imagination to search for truth."
Along with the tattoo, Adam provided this poem:

NOTEBOOK B, JULY 1837

As I idled at a stop light,
A dozen little kids crossed the road,
Holding the handles
Stemming off a white rope
Stretched between their teachers,
And I thought,
"Of course I have to die."
That's an easy thought, I thought,
Until I followed it across the street:
Of course, one day those kids will have to die;
Of course, my own children will have to die
just as, of course, my parents will have to die.

In his brown leather B Notebook,
Sometime in July 1837,
Charles Darwin sketched a brief family tree,
"A" becoming "B," "C," and "D."
I think of this page as the kids disappear;
Not every branch ends in a letter.


~ ~ ~

Adam Tamashasky teaches writing at American University in Washington, D.C. His poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and in 2018 appeared in the Cold Mountain Review, the Innisfree Poetry Journal, and the Delmarva Review. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Thanks to Adam for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday and the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Letisia Cruz and Vasnetsov's Ram (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Letisia Cruz, who shared this cool piece on her arm:


Letisia elaborated on how this little ram made it onto her canvas:
The little ram playing a violin on my arm was inspired by an illustration by Russian artist Yuri Vasnetsov. Although I did not realize it was Russian at the time, I have been inspired by Russian folk art since I was a child. I was introduced to Vasnetsov’s art by way of a book called ¡Chas Chas! Al Compas De Las Palmitas. I was drawn to Vasnetsov’s fantastic characters, including birds, foxes, and violin-playing rams, as well as his vivid landscapes. Vasnetsov’s world was one of vast possibilities where animals and humans coexisted, and magical trees inhabited the forest.

As a Cuban child born in el campo, I initially assumed the book was Cuban. You’d think the artist’s name might’ve been a dead giveaway, but I never gave it a second thought. I memorized all of the rhymes, so I could turn the pages and recite the words from memory long before I could read. I was five years old when my family left Cuba and the book, like so many things, was left behind.

Years later, while living in an apartment in Union City, New Jersey, my grandmother came to visit and brought with her three of my favorite books, including ¡Chas Chas! I was delighted to rediscover Vasnetsov’s artwork and was instantly transported back into his color-filled forests and exquisite landscapes. Of course, I eventually became curious about the book’s origin and learned that the original work was, in fact, Russian, as was most of the literature available on the island during the late 70s. ¡Chas Chas! was part of a small book collection that I treasured, all of which, unbeknownst to me as a child, were Russian.

The book was in poor condition and covered in tape when it reached me and remained that way for many years. I have since had it cleaned up and rebound, and it is one of the few possessions that I treasure. So many of our life-long passions are shaped in early childhood, and Yuri Vasnetsov’s world certainly became that for me and shaped much of my aesthetic. I have never visited Russia but hope to one day, as Russian folk art of the soviet era remains a powerful influence on me to this day.

Letisia sent us this short poem, as well, which was originally published in Ninth Letter here:

Promise

I lined her eyes
and held her wrists
still. I carved her neck long
so that when the rains came
she might hold it above
water. You will not drown,
I promised her. But then her
mouth and eyes filled and I
let them.

~ ~ ~

Letisia Cruz is a Cuban-American writer and artist. Her first book of graphic poetry titled The Lost Girls Book of Divination was published in April 2018 by Tolsun Books. Her chapbook Chonga Nation was selected as a finalist in the 2018 Digging Press Chapbook Series. Her writing and artwork have appeared in PANK Magazine, Ninth Letter, The Acentos Review, Gulf Stream, Moko Caribbean Arts and Letters, Ink Brick, Sakura Review, and The Writing Disorder, among others. She is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA program and currently lives on the west coast of Florida with her partner and two cats. Find more of her work at www.lesinfin.com.

Thanks to Letisia for sharing her lovely 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.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Christopher Shipman, Portrait and Progression (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Christopher Shipman, who shared two tattoos for Tuesday. First, this one:


Christopher tells us:
"The smaller tattoo, which I refer to simply as Portrait, was my first. It was scarred
into my right forearm in Memphis, TN on January 5th, 2000, the day I turned 18. I
attribute to it the title Portrait because, when the artist asked what I wanted to get, I
said, 'Just look at me and draw something.' His immediate response was not
dissimilar to the look I get when I tell people how the tattoo came to be. It’s a look
equipped with squinty eyes. The squinty shape of eyes quickly dissipates, however,
when I add that the design was drawn on paper and okayed by me before the tattoo
gun ever began buzzing, a sound that I have come to find very satisfying over the
years. The artist was pleased that I didn’t expect him to freehand a design from
scratch directly into my flesh. Such an approach wouldn’t even be allowed at his
shop, I remember him mentioning. In short, I was pleased with the result of the first
draft and gave him the go ahead. Since then I have heard people ask all kinds of
questions about what the tattoo is, but my favorite is that is one of those radish-like
things that you use as weapons on Super Mario Bros. 2. Sometimes I say yes, it is."
Then, there is this tattoo:


Christopher explains: 
"The bigger tattoo I refer to simply as Progression. I got the tattoo, which took three
sittings, in Jonesboro, AR in the spring of 2002. I got the idea for the tattoo after
watching 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time. The movie really resonated with
me at the time, and still does, but the idea for the tattoo grew from a brief scene near
the beginning in which a tribe of hominids uses a bone to fight off a rival tribe. It
seems fairly clear that Kubrick meant this use to represent the first tool. After the
bone is used as a weapon a hominid throws it into the air and it eventually, spiraling
up and up, becomes a spacecraft, indicating that the plot jumps ahead in time
thousands of years. I was dumbstruck by the simple (even primitive), yet profound
statement about progression—one that affirms that everything we see around us
had to begin with a single tool. I just thought it was a notion worth reminding
myself of every day."
Christopher sent us this poem, as well:

Said the Night

after I’ve had
    a certain kind of day

I hadn’t had before the move
from New Orleans to North Carolina

I pour a cheap beer in a fancy glass
wait at the antique table falling apart
   
     in the kitchen

while Sarah finishes
Finn’s bedtime routine

my ritual of reading having ended
as it does with a kiss
I sit and try to recall

the name of the tropical bird
painted in fiery streaks across
my fancy glass but never can

in the oppressive        electric light
of a nighttime kitchen
I often remember instead

as if tattooed on the hand
that holds the glass
in ink only visible to me  

                  this specific sashay
      of memory

not as if recollected
from a past life regression

more alive and well than that
more breathing now than that

like the day itself had managed to drill
into my skull to make room

for a gruesome operation
and this memory       sprung dancing

from the burr hole          just like this:

there is a strange woman
in the kitchen

she creeps like wild wallpaper
or a flicker of sun against     its flowers
when a window of trees
                                invites it in

floorboards creak beneath her boots
just as a stage for her
sort of performance should

in a moment               I will flick a flake
of crusted skin from her forehead

but for now she is happy to stop
changing clothes     every three minutes
to walk a goofy walk

and she won't stop                     she can't
until I believe in its beauty

it's easy to believe         to get distracted
from couch and book     if you are
an audience of one

I give her the typical    green-light-giggle

we both need
to hip-pivot past
our own      darkening eruptions
then she's off to find
the perfect sweater and skirt combo

in a moment               she'll be gone
to meet her friend
to booze through late afternoon
to sit in the window     maybe at Molly's
Irish Pub    
            and become something
the sun shimmies by

but for now she's happy to be
a strange woman
creeping across the kitchen's
creaky boards
as beautiful as wild         as strange
as light as flower         as paper
           as I am grateful

and look now  here she comes

~ ~ ~

Most recently, Christopher Shipman is author of Keats is Not the Problem, co-authored with Brett Evans, and The Movie My Murderer Makes Season II. Shipman’s work appears in journals such as Cimarron Review, PANK, Plume, Salt Hill, So and So, Spork Press, and TENDERLOIN, among many others. His poem, "The Three-Year Crossing," was a winner of the 2015 Motionpoems Big Bridges prize, judged by Alice Quinn. A Ship on the Line (2015), co-authored with Vincent Cellucci, was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Shipman lives in Greensboro where he teaches literature at New Garden Friends School and dances to the Boss with his four-year-old daughter on his shoulders.







Thanks to Christopher for sharing his tattoos and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoos are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.net and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.