Thursday, April 5, 2018

Amie Whittemore's Milkweed (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Amie Whittemore, who shared this tattoo:

Amie tells us:
"My milkweed pod tattoo was my first tattoo and one I thought about for over a year before getting inked. I wanted something that represented my connection to my home state of Illinois and my love of the prairie. Milkweed is one of my favorite native flowers. Its mauve blooms with their summer-sweet scent, its seed pods, its elegant seeds all enchant me: I spent my childhood autumns opening the pods that lined the ditches near my house, sending seeds across cornfield and pasture.
I also wanted a tattoo that represented a spirit of rebirth and perpetual growth—the seeds spread up my arm and I look forward to adding more to the design at some point. I was nervous about getting this tattoo, not only because it was my first, but also because there are no good milkweed tattoos on the web to use as a model. Fortunately, my artist, Captain Morgan (@capnmorgan13) at Acme Tattoo and Piercing in Charlottesville, VA, agreed with me and worked from some sketches and photographs I brought in. The minute I saw the design I knew it was a perfect blending of my vision with his craft.
Captain Morgan is now working out of Tantrum Tattoo (@tantrumtattoo) in Petersburg, Virginia.

Amie added that, "In addition to getting tattoos inspired by the prairie, I write poems about it."  The poem she sent us, about one of her other favorite flowers, the Prairie Onion, was originally published in F(r)iction, Issue 6:

Prairie Onion

Lavender globe, oversized lollipop, bobble-
headed dancer, I desire your frowzy shazam.
So glam, even after death. Bleached and fragile.
I kept your desiccate heads in a vase for years,
transposing meadow into hipster decor.

All you require is dirt, rocks, sugaring of sunshine.
I’d like to find a phalanx of you and lie below,
mooning over a purple planet sky. Discard modern life:
groceries, desks, screens—their companionate plumping.
Hitch to the caterpillar’s scam and cocoon to you,
stalk-latched,  dreaming wings. Proboscis to sip you clean.

~ ~ ~

AmieWhittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press) and co-founder of the Charlottesville Reading Series in Virginia. Her poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Sycamore Review, Smartish Pace, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. She teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University.

Thanks to Amie for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday!

To see our entire list of poets over the last ten years, please visit

This entry is ©2018 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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