Monday, April 24, 2017

Matthew Guenette on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Matthew Guenette:

Matthew sent me a few photos and I selected this one because, he explained:
"...THAT tattoo was given to me by the incredible poet (and tattoo artist) Ruth Awad. I was in Carbondale at the time, for a reading, and Ruth gave me and the poet Traci Brimhall free tattoos to commemorate our time there. Ruth did the tattoos in her apartment, in her kitchen if I remember correctly. My tattoo is a '33', with the second '3' reversed, thus creating a kind of '8' that one might also read as an infinity symbol. 33 is how old I was when I got married; a few months later, still 33, my mother died. That the tattoo also makes something of an '8' is for August, the name of my son. I love this tattoo...That it evokes an infinity symbol allows me to pour into the tattoo any number of meanings..."
Ruth Awad appeared on the Tattooed Poets Project last year, here, and the tattoo she gave Traci Brimhall appeared back in 2012 here.

Matthew sent us the following poem, as well:

I Will Not Mention Him

I will not mention his small-handed excuses.
His covetous old-man-ness.
His blundering baboon-blood.
I will not mention his locker-room banter.
His ugly, ill-fitting suits.
I won’t mention his paid thugs, his goons who hit below the belt.
I won’t mention what he said about your mother.
How he wants to sue her.
How he called her a drunk.
I will not mention what he claimed in Pensacola; Toledo; Kinston, NC; Gettysburg; Delaware, OH; Portsmouth, NH; West Palm Beach; Greensboro; and I especially won’t mention what he claimed in Jackson, MS; in Birmingham; or in South Carolina and Iowa.
I will not mention all that stinks about him like a flooded creek.
I will not mention what he said about women and where he likes to grab them.
I will not mention what he said about Muslims.
I will not mention what he said about Syrians.
I will not mention what he said about Mexicans and walls.
What he said about Asians and deals.
What he said about black lives.
I won’t mention every racist little bone in his body.
His heartless heart.
His bat-shit tweets at 3 a.m. for his hooting rabblement and their chapped hands.
I won’t mention the drought in his brain or the cricket in the basement of his brain chirping somewhere behind an empty box.
I won’t mention his 30,000 fears and corruptions.
I won’t mention his recurring dream where, in flames, he rides his tongue like a deranged horse into the valley.
It’s so beautiful outside. Isn’t it lovely?

~ ~ ~

Matthew Guenette is the author of three full length poetry collections: Vasectomania (U. of Akron Press, 2017), American Busboy (U. of Akron Press, 2011), and Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008). He is also the author of the chapbook Civil Disobedience (Rabbit Catastrophe Press, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems have appeared in numerous journals and reviews. He has had residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Hessen-Wisconsin Fellowship. A graduate of the MFA program at Southern Illinois University, Matt currently teaches composition and creative writing at Madison College in Madison, WI, where he lives with his wife, two kids, and a 20 lb cat named Butternut. 

Thanks to Matt for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

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

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