Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Tattooed Poets Project: Noelle Kocot

We are launching this, our fourth year of celebrating tattooed poets for National Poetry Month, with the work of an amazingly talented writer, Noelle Kocot. I had first approached Noelle about participating last year, but it never came to fruition.This year, however, we were able to pull it together.

First, here's a glimpse of Noelle's tattoo:

As tattoos go, this is fairly simple and straight forward. It's the name "Damon," but it's not just any name.

Damon Tomblin  was Noelle's husband, who died on March 10, 2004. She had his name memorialized in December, later that year. This is her only tattoo.  I'd point you to this page from dewclaw journal to read a little more from Noelle about Damon, and hear a few movements from a sonata Damon composed.

Noelle offered us the following poem, which originally appeared in Tin House, and was later included in her book Sunny Wednesday:

12th Wedding Anniversary

Jailed and decreased, my doughnuts rise.
 Have a feather, don’t ask why,
 There is a Coney Island in my eye.
 Hair and plaid rabbits,
 Anniversal belief is the strongest to go
 Over a listless sky, a prevenient frost.
 Let’s go to the Cloisters
 And all you can eat sushi
 My tattoo should be healed now.
 Dear, you are a norming legend in the kitty-star.
 I eat for two, on the evening of
 We knew each other before our faces and our names.
~ ~ ~

Noelle Kocot is the author of five full-length collections of poetry, including most recently, The Bigger World (Wave Books, 2011) and Sunny Wednesday ( Wave Books, 2009). She has also recently published a limited-edition collection of translations of the poems of Tristan Corbière, as Poet By Default ( Wave Books, 2011). Kocot has received numerous honors for her poetry, including a NEA fellowship and inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2001 and 2011.

Thanks to Noelle for her contribution, and helping us launch this, our fourth year of the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday. Photos courtesy of Noelle Kocot. Poem reprinted with the author's permission.

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