Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Tattooed Poets: Chantele Theroux

I'd be remiss if I didn't share this Canadian poet's tattoo:

This is Chantele Theroux, who told us:
"I had my Johnny Cash tattoo done (at Pagan Tattoo of Edmonton in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada by Sean Tracy) to honour the artistry and work Johnny Cash brought to the world. He sung about (and advocated for) the underdog, the prisoner, and very noble but unpopular opinion. He was a rebel with a cause and his life changed mine."
Chantele is the poetry editor for an online publication called Rebelle Society. She sent us the following poem "show me your tattoo," which originally appeared on the site here:

What’s moved you, sailor?
Shaken you,
taken you
to bleed it out through process,
exquisite pleasure and pain…
(I want to know you.)
Because the needles dragging through you,
                                        they carried the ink
                                                                     that dripped the colors
                                                                                   of your hurt and delight
into art…
Now coursing through your veins,
deep inside your body,
beating forever from your heart…
(Your pulse sounds amazing…)
What wounds do you wear?
Or is it joy that you share?
The mystery of milestone
in monument and shrine,
your stained visceral visage,
a chaotic collage,
only you’ll truly see,
and ever know.

(I love your style…)
Because those words, these snapshots,
your times drawn eternal,
these etchings of essence,
show me you’re bold
and you’re raw enough,
to share you with the world.
(I adore your courage..)

Or was it rebellion
a now-faded reminder,
 of youth drunk on juvenile
design and desire,
now your proud symbol of regretful whim.
(Your life’s been gorgeous…)
If you dare, be bare,
hold your scars deep within,
You’ll be nude, never naked,
like many stained souls have been.
Stay closed, picture perfect,
your form in façade…
since diving within,
means  baring your sin,
and not settle for sinking,
but choosing to swim.
(Dead men tell no tales, my dear…)
Because this your life,
your one wonderful, wicked ride,
be it in ink or blank canvas,
no one here gets out alive.
(Pillage and plunder with me?)

Chantele also pointed us to a Johnny Cash article called "Johnny Cash: Life, Love & the Magic of Being Your Badass Self" that she wrote for the same publication here,

Chantele Theroux is an editor, poet, and writer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her works express the resonance of personal creative force driven to reflect the brilliance buried in the dark and shadow of the soul. Reveal the rock 'n' roll of your soul and it will be the exquisite end of life as you know it. Visit her on Facebook or at

Thanks to Chantele for sharing her cool tattoo with us on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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