Friday, April 27, 2012

The Tattooed Poets Project: Julie Kantor

As we wind up the Tattooed Poets Project on this, the home stretch of April, we are double-posting to accommodate the record number of submissions we received this year.

Our second tattooed poet of the day is Julie Kantor.

Julie sent us these photos:

Julie explains:
"It was a very early morning in Portland, OR. I picked up my best friend, Jess, to get breakfast. On the way to the cafe, we saw two guys, each had a shopping cart packed to the brim. They were laughing with each other, smiling these huge smiles. Jess turned to me and said, 'If we were bums, we would still be best friends. Bum friends.' I suggested, strongly, that we get matching shopping cart tattoos. After breakfast we found this small tattoo shop with no name off Glisan that just opened. Inside, we made a deal with the shop's very green apprentice to do both tattoos for $40. The 'bf' in the tattoos stands for bum friends." 

Here is one of Julie's poems:

From the series: Land 

Waters flush north under concrete & steel, rods down
planted, now dry cracks through road we drive over, see
red lines run lengthen out from sky blue & darkening,
say “let's trace this back to where the sun doesn't even
want us w/it,” beam bridge can't take us across all the way
w/out drop before we stand safely or span the land’s
end to its own mirrored opposite. Those could be our feet
on the ground, but we ride this straight across the dividing
line where trains’ tracks alongside plains lead away from
& hear the river call us down, would one body’s dead
weight be enough to pull us into, first think we tie our-
selves w/knots we won't learn the names of, but tangle is
thick w/width, & water's feel enough for loss of, & if we can’t
sustain w/just us then we shouldn’t have to begin with.

~ ~ ~

Julie Kantor just completed her first manuscript, the currently unpublished, The Beautiful West. She is a M.F.A. candidate in poetry at Columbia University where she teaches in the Undergraduate Writing Program. She is also a musician and plays in the new band, Cycles. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Thanks to Julie for sharing her poem and tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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

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