In case you hadn't had enough of the Tattooed Poets Project
in April, we will be continuing, while supplies last, with featuring tattooed poets here on Tattoosday. I mean, why should we have to wait until April to celebrate tattoos and poetry? Fox Frazier-Foley is happy to be our first Tattooed Poet of the Week.
Fox tells us:
"This tattoo was done as part of a thigh sleeve by Jess Morsey
, who runs her own business, Mad Tatter Ink, in upstate New York. The sleeve has four panels; the first three are each a different representation of a venerated spirit known as St. Bridget
(in the Catholic Church, she is seen as St. Patrick's
equal, the patroness of Ireland, and a woman who held authority and education that was unparalleled for her time, especially within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church), Maman Brigitte
(in the Haitian Vodou tradition, of which I am an initiate), and Brighid
(the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry, and smithcraft).
The fourth panel is a scroll with a quote from the Catholic St. Bridget: 'We become that which we love.'
Overall, the sleeve symbolizes different aspects of my religious and cultural identity - my family is Irish by heritage, I was raised Catholic, and later in life I converted to Haitian Vodou (a syncretic religion that blends elements of African Tribal Religions with Roman Catholicism), and was formally initiated into the religion. For me, these images are a source of strength and inspiration, and they remind me that if I take the time to love the deepest and most regal aspects of myself, those aspects will thrive, and my identity will develop in a beautiful way, as will my ability to help create joy, beauty, and healing in a world that too often feels cruel, broken, and lacking."
Here's a collage of the combined tattoos, courtesy of the artist:
Fox sent along the following poem, which she says "is about a positive experience of spirit possession."
St. Gemini is
Possessed by Silibo Nouvavou, St. Revelation, and Begins to Breathe Psalm 42:7
as a child, I set books
of matches ablaze (Deep
calleth unto deep) my lungs
tautness. Known blue
pools of water. She has
me & I her daughter wasp breaks
the sound of thy waterfalls)
sacred Scarlet unwinged, its
a birth of monarch
through my throat Silibo
thy waves and billows)
cloaked in sun
starry night. We are
come to burning. I feel
retreat: her swaying,
blued-rush entry. I find
complete: one in gasp
laugh (gone over me) my
with blue: burst
know that which
are we are
my body’s private star
~ ~ ~
Fox Frazier-Foley is founder and Managing Editor at a nifty little press called Ricochet Editions
. She received her MFA from Columbia University
, and is currently a Provost's Fellow and PhD candidate in the Literature & Creative Writing program at University of Southern California
. Her website is currently under construction, but you can find her on Facebook
, and in the pages of journals such as Paterson Literary Review
, Denver Quarterly
, Western Humanities Review
, THEThe Poetry Blog, Jerry
, and Mantis
. She loves travel, gin fizzes, and her dog, Dalí Nimbus. She and Rod Serling
share a hometown.
Thanks to Fox Frazier-Foley for sharing her tattoos and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoos are reprinted with the poet's permission.