|Photo by Adam Haley|
|Phot by Chris Abani|
Geffrey also shared the following poem:"Five and counting, and all similarly designed, I got my first three tattoos atLaughing Buddha in Seattle, WA, the city in which I was born; I got the secondtwo at King Cobra in State College, PA, the city in which my son was born.Because I watched my own father’s drug addiction compromise his way withcare, I spent too much of my childhood and adulthood believing I needed tospare others and myself the burden of my reliance. Of course, that was just thisson’s early flailing against the reality of being failed by one major source of light.And so, this ongoing tattoo series reflects my commitment (as well as mystruggle) to recognize, honor, and sometimes rename the numinous sources oflight—healthy or otherwise—that allow us to see, understand, and moveourselves through this life."
~ ~ ~
how often will your dearness fly
down the open throat of life
and restart the work of wringing myths
from my mouth even the promised body
blunders like this nights I slip
outside as the city sleeps
to spark a sickly flame against the burst
of stars or June fireflies dispersed
in the yard and then the radiance
of something else awake in the dark
floods the scene as if to interrupt as if
your rogue tenderness itself either way
my head’s calamity ignites with conjuring
and banishing—which means I am
a warm diaspora of blues which means
my hands will fail to carry any one
formula for light which is to say no
equal signs flare inside this heart
[First published by At Length.]~ ~ ~
Geffrey Davis is the author of Revising the Storm (BOA Editions 2014), winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Finalist, and of Night Angler (BOA Editions 2019). A recipient of the Anne Halley Poetry Prize, the Wabash Prize for Poetry, and fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center, his work is forthcoming or has been published by The Academy of American Poets, The Massachusetts Review, New England Review, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and Ploughshares. Davis teaches at the University of Arkansas and in The Rainier Writing Workshop low-res MFA program, and he serves as poetry editor of Iron Horse Literary Review.
Thanks to Geffrey for celebrating the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday in honor of National Poetry Month by contributing his tattoos and poem!
This entry is ©2018 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.