Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Tattooed Poets Project: Sophie Klahr

Our next tattooed poet is Sophie Klahr and, like our previous contributor, she has an inky connection to Ranier Maria Rilke.

The tattoo consists of four words appearing at the end of the following excerpt of Rilke's first elegy in the Duino Elegies. The words appear in context here: 

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angelic
orders? and even if one of them pressed me
suddenly to his heart: I'd be consumed
in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we can just barely endure,
and we stand in awe of it as it coolly disdains
to destroy us. Every angel is terrifying.

Sophie states, "This tattoo appears in my handwriting, and was done by Alex Cetina in 2010, at the Gaslight Gallery in Houston, TX." Cetina now tattoos out of Old Crow Parlor.

She also sent us the following poem, which originally appeared in TYPO:


Houdini would hide copies of the same key all over his body
during any trick with a lock. You give me a copy of your apartment
key but Dog, we cannot both go home at once. We say home,
meaning half a dozen places, overlapping by one.
I should be more careful and copy your way of touching
just about everyone to make everyone feel a little special.
I should learn to be your type of thief.
Dog, there’s the problem of your moon-face, how despite
any onlookers, you’ll offer food your tongue has touched to me.
Tell me more about Houdini— I know he was your hero as a child,
when your mother was alive, when you believed in a magic
that required no one else. 

~ ~ ~

Sophie Klahr’s poetry, essays and reviews can be found in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Rumpus, and Sycamore Review, among others. Her collaborative projects include creating scenic texts with the contemporary dance theatre influxdance. She is the poetry editor of Gigantic Sequins.

Thanks to Sophie for sending us her poem and tattoo for this year's Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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

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