Monday, April 2, 2018

Kathleen Peirce on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Kathleen Peirce, who sent us the following photo of her ink:

Kathleen tells us:
"This tattoo is the tail end of the sleeve on my left arm. It was done by Katja Ramirez (@katjaramirez), at Rock of Ages Tattoo (@rockofagestattoo) in Austin, Texas. The phoenix feathers are in the Japanese tradition, signaling rebirth, and the yellow flowers are Mexican marigolds, which light the way for the dead in Mexican tradition." 
The following poem, "Handihorse," is an unpublished work from the manuscript for Kathleen's 6th book, Lion's Paw.


Dollar for dollar, what did that
ever mean? A man wrote I grew up
dirt poor and hunted/fished for food. Don’t kill
anything you’re not going to eat. I do not have it in me
to kill anything anymore. Maybe a fish now and then.
She would put, my beautiful best friend, her thumb and first finger down
on my desk at school, fourth grade, then add her pinky and her ring, bobbing
her middle finger above the earth, making of her hand
a little animal to amble over,
whose lowered head would touch my hand
while she made the sniffing sound. I’d make one of myself
and go to her. Never did we think to make
four animals at once. Now I see Handihorse for sale, four toy hooves
for fingertips and a finger pony head, to make the same thing true
but without beauty. My friend
and her tumor are together forever now. When I go past
my big fish tank, I see and feel the Betta wait. I put my finger in
and he arrives again. Neither of us
is what we are. Something wavers toward and we touch.

~ ~ ~

Kathleen Peirce is the author of five collections of poems, most recently Vault, from New Michigan Press. Her work has been awarded The AWP Award, The Iowa Prize, and The William Carlos Williams Award, and was a finalist for The LA Times Book Award. Her work has been supported by the National Foundation for the Arts, The Giles Whiting Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She teaches poetry in MFA program at Texas State University.

Thanks to Kathleen for her contribution to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

No comments: