Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Tattooed Poets Project: Erica Dawson

Our next tattooed poet is Erica Dawson, who sent along this image of her ink:

Erica explains:
“I got this in December 2010. When I walked into 1603 Tattoo & Piercing, Co. in Ybor City, and met Shawn Chalk, the best tattoo artist ever, I had no clue what I wanted. It ended up being perfect: we talked the whole time; and, even better, we ate chicken wings during a break."
Shawn Chalk is now working out of Tabernacle Tattoo in Tampa.

Erica also shared the following poem:

La Revue Nègre

The curtain’s up? Hey now! Away I go.
La vie en rose (ah hem), Bonjour et O,
Au Cabaret! (Look out!) Puccini’s O
Mio bambino caro….I’ll know
The other words then, too; sing Nina’s woe
In her sultry old blue mood indigo;
With Johnny Cash, go make an Alamo
In Reno: we’ll up and kill a man; I’ll sow
Jimmy’s cracked corn; and, then, Pinocchio
It: wish upon a star; I’ll row row row
A boat; and, fit the battle of Jericho—

But, then, (Bravo!) I’ll give it up and throw
It to my sidekick with the fine trousseau:
Ms. Josephine Baker—two woman show,
Expatriates, banana dances, “whoa,”
Revue Negre, Nature’s Black Pearls, “Moi ‘lo,’”
“Don’t Touch Our Four Tomatoes.” We would tow
The audience to our private chateau
Brimming with leopards, liquor, curio-
Toucans, and every latest Romeo.

I’ve got to get a dog first, though, and grow
Pin-curled sideburns and learn to pose, tableau
Of taut breasts and the navel apropos
Of Paris nightlife, drop it hot, slow, low
As bass, tell Daddy Rice to tell Jim Crow
To take his minstrel smile and o-
pen up real wide to suck our titties. Lo,

How a rose e’er bloomed when you sang out, Sweet Jo.
You are our voice. Sing louder. Oui. Hello
And Enchanté. The bistro’s spotlight glow
Will turn into a dusked seraglio
And crown us sultans. Yes, Madame Tussaud
Could wax us. Yes, we’ll get some more Merlot,
Black Gypsy Rose. Don’t stop your do-si-do.
Please flaunt your gold-chained hips. Work that bon mot
Banter. I’ll make a keepsake video;
And, if you stop singing, I’ll lip-synch, blow
A kiss to our United States below
The smoke that hovered with the mistletoe.

~ ~ ~

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press). She teaches at The University of Tampa.

Thanks to Erica for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on The Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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