Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Tattooed Poets Project: Kayla Sargeson

Often people winder where I find all of our tattooed poets. Many come to us via word-of-mouth and through social media. This year, I found an anthology of poets "under 25," and figured that would be a good resource. Today's post, along with a few others, originated from that volume.

Today's tattooed poet is Kayla Sargeson. She is sharing this whimsical tattoo, which is her ninth:

This is Kayla's tattoo of an alien head that proclaims “I like chicken.” The artist is Pete Larkin at Kyklops Tattoo in Pittsburgh, PA.

I'll let Kayla explain the rest:
For the past year-and-a-half, I’ve been pursuing my MFA in Chicago, a city I’ve grown to hate. I feel like I don’t fit this city, or maybe it just doesn’t fit me. Regardless, I feel like an alien here that had to leave her home planet. Thus the alien tattoo. I go back and forth between Chicago and Pittsburgh often and during one of these visits, my mentor Jan Beatty was dropping me off at Kyklops [Tattoo]. She said “why don’t you have your alien say ‘I like chicken.’” I thought this was the funniest thing in the world, so I said “okay.” I walked into the shop where Pete was working on the alien. He showed me the sketch and I said “It looks perfect, except can the alien say ‘I like chicken’?” “Absolutely” said Pete and we were both standing in his little work station, cracking up. Because I have so many tattoos, I quit going for ones that have some soft, sentimental back story. I love to laugh and I like to be amused. I wake up to my alien every day and every day he makes me laugh.
Kayla sends us this poem:


Eleven tattoos and can’t stop
want my body covered/
no space for that night at the fraternity house:
body cracked open like glass.
I want a needle in my skin.
I’m the queen wasp thick and pissed off.
My friends say girl you’re on the fringe/
father likes to get me drunk/show off:
This is my smart daughter. The pretty one’s at home.
I know the push of a hand on the back of the head/
faceful of cock/baby no teeth
do what I tell you/stepfather’s raised fist: bitch I’ll hit you.
At the Rock Room, for a tit grab
it’s all-you-can-drink-all-night.
I’ll suck you off for a joint.
I’m looking for my studded Sid Vicious cliché:
skinny punk with the bass guitar.
He’s got the chain wallet, leans
against his amp and almost looks alive.
He rides a Fat Boy/he’ll get me out of here.
We’ll ride the hellwave screaming.

~ ~ ~

Kayla Sargeson earned a BA in creative writing from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the Award for Excellence in Creative Writing: Poetry. Her work has appeared in the national anthology, Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets under 25, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, as well as Voices from the Attic Volume XIV, and Dionne’s Story. Her poems also appear, or are forthcoming in, 5 AM, Columbia Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Paper Street, Ophelia Street, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and phantom limb. She is attending the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, where she is recipient of a Follet Fellowship and serves as an editor for the Columbia Poetry Review.

Thanks to Kayla for her contribution to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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

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carolee said...

go, kayla! and go, tattoosday! a tattooed poets project is a great and wondrous thing!

Anonymous said...

You rock Kayla! Pittsburgh loves you. ~V