Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Tattooed Poets Project: Stephen Caratzas

Today's tattooed poet is Stephen Caratzas, who was sent our way via Jillian Brall, a tattooed poet who has appeared on the Tattooed Poets Project twice before (here and here).

Stephen sent along this cool photo:

The tattoo in question is on his wrist. For a closer look:

Stephen explains:

"The tattoo is a griffin, inspired by an image of a griffin holding a Walther PPK automatic pistol on the cover of Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The artist, whose first name was Mike - don't recall his last name - decided to make the gun into the griffin's paw, which I agreed was a sensible idea.

I got the idea for a tattoo on the inside of my wrist from one of the characters (Casper, I believe) in Larry Clark's film, Kids. I liked the idea of having a visible tattoo even while wearing a long-sleeve dress shirt."

The tattoo is among eight Stephen has, and was inked at Fun City Tattoo on Macdougal Street in Manhattan back in the late 1990s.

Stephen sent us several poems, but I liked this one best:


I never felt so good as when a waiter
in Amsterdam called me monsieur
after ordering beef champignon

putting his pen to his lips and looking off
“I believe monsieur has ordered the better dish”
so then you ordered it too

in a place called De Oude Doelen
(the old aims the old targets the old goals)

a drunk at the bar sang along with the jukebox
for years afterward I searched for the song
it wasn’t Elvis but it was sad

the song and the drunk and it was our last meal
when we two parted it was inevitable

it always is it always is
~ ~ ~

Stephen Caratzas is a writer, musician and visual artist living in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. His writing has been published in Terra Incognita, Maintenant 5, the tiny, and many other journals.

Thanks to Stephen for sending us his tattoo and poems! We here at Tattoosday are grateful for his contribution.

This entry is ©2011 Tattoosday. The poem is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

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Steve Caratzas said...

The cool photo was taken by my talented wife Sandra Yingling.

D. Jonathan Newman said...

great stuff, loved the title.

richard lopez said...

very nice. great to see steve's tat and poetry. thanks for posting them.