Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Tattooed Poets Project: Sarah Cook

Today's tattooed poet is Sarah Cook who has a literary tattoo on her ribs:

Sarah tells us:
"This tattoo was done about a year ago, for my 28th birthday, by Jacob Hanks, who tattoos both in Portland, OR and out here at his smaller shop in The Dalles [Hanks Family Tattoo Co].
The line is from Anne Sexton's 'Hurry Up Please It's Time,' a poem that slays me with every single reading. My first relationship with Anne--high school years--felt traditional. I read her early stuff (Bedlam, All My Pretty Ones), and her confrontation of  'hard' subjects became a place of permission for me. I mean I can probably quote from Love Poems if put on the spot.
I grew out of her work as I developed my relationships with more contemporary writers and poetics, and then I came back to her and found entire new worlds of appreciation--the beautiful frenzied thinking she can accomplish within a sentence. Her later stuff, including what's been published after her death, is more patient, much sadder, more directly suspicious of god in a way that prevents her from ever setting god down.
She says, 'Abundance is scooped from abundance, / yet abundance remains.' It's a way to keep living."
Sarah also shared the following poem, which is from a longer series called Field Poems:

I wish I could look the field directly in the face but I’m forever below it

or rather, the field lacks
eye contact &
when feeling brave stares
straight in the direction of
possible love
& assumes
with every face
that doesn’t look
away, i mean   it learned          at a young age              how to hesitate, this field


yr car is
a woman but yr man
is a house
                                                            just because yr outsides look like this


the quiet
field mistakes silence
for solitude & sets up
its own car insurance
policy commits to
walking everywhere
remains ignorant
of its
celebrity stronghold


it’s hard not
to fall in some
kind of lovespace
with every un-
hesitant pair of
eyeballs if you
see something, say
something                                like this field                i just can’t look away
                                                so         grass*belly*grass         there
                                                i said it


there’s nothing
between us at any
given moment but
clothes how
to go from
person to body
just like


misread “bruised”
as “buried” &
thought what’s
the difference

the weather isn’t fake
just controlled

& the field is just
far enough away
to not yet be thinking

about coming back

~ ~ ~

Sarah Cook is a poet. She lives in Oregon.

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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dirklancer said...

love it.

Unknown said...

Oh, Jeff! I'm just seeing your comment...