Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Matt Amott's Locomotive (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Matt Amott, who sent us this amazing tattoo:

Photo by Megan Bean

Matt tells us:
The train is the image of Locomotive #5 of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad. This was a railroad that ran between Nevada City, Grass Valley and Colfax California from the late 1800's until the early years of WWII. These cities were mining and lumber towns in the west foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in California, about an hour east of Sacramento. I spent my childhood summers there with my cousin and as an adult I lived there for a number of years. Always a fan of trains since I was a kid, I loved learning the history of the NCNGRR and I thought this tattoo would be a great representation of my passion for trains while paying tribute to the history of a place I lived. The tattoo was done by Cory Norris (@corynorrisart) of Classic Tattoo, which is also in Grass Valley, Ca.
Matt sent us this poem, as well, which was previously published in THE COAST IS CLEAR (Six Ft. Swells Press):


Standing on the platform
watching the train roll to a stop.
The locomotive massive,
bright, shiny, silver,
like an old Airstream trailer
the folks would load
with their belongings
and drag across the country
looking for a brighter future.

I see it's strength
in sleek lines
running up the side
all the way to the front.

The engineer views the world
through windows
resembling squinting eyes,
drawn tight from looking at miles
of desert plains and rocky grades.

I make my way down the string of cars
until a weathered old man
with a pocket watch
and a lifetime of railroad stories asks,
     "Are you Chicago bound?"
     My reply, a nod.
     "Well son, hop on board."

   And that's
     as simple
      as it gets
       to just leave.

~ ~ ~

Matt Amott is a poet, musician and photographer who rambles around the Pacific Northwest. He is co-founder and co-editor of Six Ft. Swells Poetry Press and has been published in numerous collections as well as two books of his own, THE COAST IS CLEAR (Six Ft. Swells Press) and GET WELL SOON (Epic Rites Press). Matt's turn-ons included pre-1978 custom Dodge vans, OP/Lightning Bolt apparel, shirts with numbers, cords, heavy fuzz, deep Blues, heart-wrenching Soul, record players, CB radios, postcards, Kung Fu movies, Logan's Run, patches/iron-ons and longboards. He can be reached and purchases made at afterhourspoetry.com.

Thanks to Matt for contributing to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

To see our entire list of poets over the last ten years, please visit www.tattooedpets.com.

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

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