Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Christina Quintana on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Christina Quintana:

This is a cool photo, in which you can see two of Christina's tattoos. Let's let Christina explain while we take a closer look:
"My first tattoo was all about being in the present. 
I'm a terribly nostalgic person, so I'm constantly trying to be here now. I'm also obsessed with mail (see: The Perpetual Postcard Project). I wanted to make my tattoo a mail stamp that appeared to have been sent, like you see on postcards past and present. The date reflects the date I got the tattoo and where I was: New York, NY. When I first got the tattoo, my therapist joked (since I'm a gender non-confirming person), you're officially 'mail'!

I chose the buffalo grazing on the notepad because the bison is my spirit animal. It may sound silly, but my whole life I have revered these creatures. As a small, high energy person, there is something about the bison's formidable size and peacefulness that has always awed me. When thinking about the tattoo, I loved the juxtaposition of this animal I adore alongside my passion/career-- a reminder to keep steady along this wild life journey.

Sue (@sweetsuetattoo) from East River Tattoo (@eastrivertattoo), a fantastic shop out in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the artist of both of my tattoos. I'm dreaming on a third and will likely go back to her. I can't recommend her enough if you're looking for an original black and white. She was so jazzed about getting the draft right for my bison--it was wonderful. We named him Mortimer right there in the shop!"
I can't agree with Christina more. I actually met Sue Jeiven in Penn Station back in 2011 and featured one of her tattoos here and some of her work in 2013 here.

Christina also shared the following poem:

Other Off
Wouldn’t you love to unzip
your other off,
like a whisp of smoke,
when no one was looking?

You wonder,
Which parts can you peel off,
Like a mask,
And which parts are permanent.

What is
What is

I’d like to be done with
the ideas you
have about me
and what you
say is my “lifestyle”
but is really my life.

I’d like to believe
you weren’t looking
pale when
my partner
and I kissed
across the table
from you
and your fiancé.

I’d like to know
that we are equals,

and really believe it.

~ ~ ~

Christina Quintana is a New York-based writer with Cuban and Louisiana roots. She is the author of the poetry chapbook, The Heart Wants (Finishing Line Press 2016). Her poetry and prose has appeared in Front Porch Journal, Saw Palm, Foglifter, and Nimrod International Journal, among others. For more, visit

Thanks to Christina for contributing to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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