Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Tattooed Poets Project: Bianca Stone

Today's poet is Bianca Stone, who I met last year at the Best American Poetry 2011 launch reading. I spoke to her about contributing then and, true to her word, she was the first poet to confirm her participation this year.

Bianca sent me this photo:

She explains:
"At first this was just a tattoo of Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket. The drawings was based on the original drawings from the book by Carlo Collodi. I was 20 years old and at Antioch College at the time. There was an aspiring tattoo artist who studied there and had a tattoo gun and a make-shift studio and he did it for me as practice...(NOT one of my brightest ideas, since it's poorly done. People always ask me 'what is that supposed to be?') The idea had been in homage to my twin brother, Walter, whose nickname is Jiminy/Jimmy, and my mother used to read us the book when we were young. 
The 'Ex Libris' was added three years ago when I was studying poetry at NYU's MFA program, to honor my love of books and antique book-plates. It means 'In the Library Of' and in theory should have my name under it. It was done at Fineline Tattoo in the East Village, by a very nice guy who I guess doesn't work there anymore...I can't remember his name. I do remember he went by one word."
By way of a poem, Bianca shared this poem, which originally appeared in Post Road Magazine:

Someone Will Have to Tell You

Someday soon you will let your hair grow
and look like everyone else. And let there be a kingdom
alongside the kingdom and a forsythia alongside you.
Your mother has walked out of all her pictures

into the ether. There is hair in envelopes and the hair
in lockets and the hair growing
in graves. Saints are kneeling over your portrait.
The stratocumulus clouds are forming
in your chest. Fog around your feet.

You’ll have to listen to the bananas peeling.
Listen to your books on tape. Little by little
your face will float away
from your other face.

Someday you won’t know what to eat. Someone
will have to tell you. Someone will have to carry you
into the back yard so you can hear the Canadian geese
rise hysterically from the river.

~ ~ ~

Bianca Stone is the author of several chapbooks, most recently Someone Else's Wedding Vows (Argos Books), and I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You, Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry 2011, Conduit, and Crazyhorse. Her collaboration with Anne Carson, Antigonick, a new kind of comic book and translation, will be published in spring of 2012 by New Directions. She lives in Brooklyn.

Thanks so much to Bianca for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

 This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission. 

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