Friday, April 19, 2013

The Tattooed Poets Project: Sarah Certa

Today's tattooed poet is Sarah Certa.

Sarah's tattoo is simple, but powerful:

Photo by Sarah Certa
She even sent along a collage of the tattoo process:

Photos by Laura Martie
Why does a woman have a tattoo of the name "Johnny" on her arm? I'll let Sarah explain:
"My tattoo was done at Voodoo Tattoo in Big Lake, MN. It's on the inside of my left wrist, and it's my brother's name, Johnny, in my handwriting. He is two years younger than me and in the Army Infantry, currently deployed in southern Afghanistan. I got the tattoo this past fall, November 2012, about a month before he deployed, because I wanted to do something to show my support and admiration for him, and since I carry a strong needle phobia, this was a very big thing for me to do. It also serves as a reminder of strength, especially on hard days, to just keep going, the way he does..."
Sarah also sent us this poem, which is making its first appearance here:

The Wind

I’ve been eating way too much chocolate
these past few days, which really fucks up
my bikini-season diet, which is really
a ridiculous thing to waste time thinking about because regardless of my pant size
one day I’m going to die. This is not a newsflash
but every time I think about it, it’s as if I’m being beat
in the stomach with a baseball bat, and on it are the signatures
of everyone I’ve ever loved. It’s amazing
that I continue to recover from these assaults, that somehow
I get out of bed. I make coffee. Every day
I brush my teeth. I smooth Burt’s Bees chap-stick
on my lips, which are filled with blood, and how incredible
is that? How incredible, that I’m able to stand up
and put one foot in front of the other, shuffle forward
one small miracle at a time. How incredible, yet how
pathetic, as I sit here with my coffee and my diet, while nearly 2,000 miles away
my little brother is marching in the 5 AM rain with the rest
of his infantry platoon. He is already my hero,
the way he skydives into this life, so reckless yet good
to himself, raving about sushi like it’s his religion and sipping $90 whiskey
that’s almost as old as he is. You just keep going, he says. You’re not going to die
from running too much. I think about him
training for war this summer, hiking 25 miles
in the California desert with 60 pounds on his back, knowing
that soon he’ll be on foot in southern Afghanistan where he could
be blown to pieces at any minute, and already
each step he takes is an army-sized miracle, each breath the wind that pushes me
through another goddamn day.

~ ~ ~

Sarah Certa holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poems appear in Country Music, The Bakery, B O D Y, and PANK, among other places. She is the Social Media Director for H_NGM_N, a contributing editor for Split Rock Review, and a freelance writer and photographer. Find her online at

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project! And a special thanks to her brother Johnny for his service to our country. We're wishing him our very best and pray for his safety while he is overseas.

This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

am working on a tattoo for myself as part of a performance writing piece. For a tattooist who can really put your poetry onto skin check out Xoli when he does residency at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn, see this link for an amazing image