Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jenna Lynch on The Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet is Jenna Lynch, who shared these incredible tattoos:

Jenna explained her duck tattoo:
"I got this tattoo as a memorial piece for my very dear friend, Adam Boley, who passed away in a car accident last year. I met Adam at the Vermont Studio Center where I had the privilege of also being introduced to his photography. This tattoo is actually based on one of my favorite of his pieces, which is part of a larger collection that revolves around the weight of his family tradition of duck hunting. The artist who did my tattoo (and possibly the only artist I would trust with such an important and meaningful piece) is the incredibly talented Henric Nielsen (@hbnielsentattoo) (who has also done majority of the work on my half-sleeve). I was lucky enough to catch him in his private studio in the Lower East Side before he moved back to Sweden, where he is originally from, to work at All Gold Tattoo (@allgoldtattoo)."
Jenna also wanted to point out the rose, which was inked by Mina Aoki (@minaaoki), when she was apprenticing at Daredevil Tattoo (@daredeviltattoo) in NYC. Mina now works out of Mercy Tattoo (@mercyslc) in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jenna also offered up the following poem, which is an elegy she is "(still) attempting to write for Adam."  She noted, "I don’t know if it will ever be finished. In a way, I don’t want it to be."


That August
you taught me the weight
of tradition—

the unbroken shoulder blade of a bird
forever missed,
the gun still resting on your own shoulder,
the shutter of a camera too slow—

the way an eye can blink shut and forget
a face, capture only the shadowy after-image
of a person leaving, walking away.

What happens if I forget you?

Saying goodbye to you in the driveway of my studio
in Johnson, you rested your hand on my shoulder,
caught me in an attempt at sneaking away unnoticed.

If only I was better.
Sometimes I miss.

Now, you are the waiting
between the shot—the stretch of sky
between lens and wing.

Meanwhile, the ducks skim the surface
of water, unaware.
Northern pintails:
slim-necked and distinctive in their
silhouette, their sharp tails piercing the top of the water.

And I imagine you there

as a boy, toting your gun
on your shoulder (not yet
a camera) with your father to hunt.

If only I was better.

In the distance, someone is throwing out
the decoys, settling in for early light,
the inaudible gaps of men waiting for dawn.

What happens if I forget you?

By the time the ducks drop
you will be gone.

When I find you again,
you will have wings.

~ ~ ~

Jenna Lynch lives in Astoria, New York and teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her work has been published in Forklift, Ohio, Construction Magazine, The Westchester Review, and others. Her chapbook, The Mouth of Which You Are, is forthcoming this summer by Finishing Line Press.

Thanks to Jenna for sharing her tattoos and poetry with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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

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