Our last tattooed poet for National Poetry Month, 2019, is Josh Medsker, who sent along this photo:
Josh recounted how this tattoo came to be:
"This tattoo was done at Supernova Tattoo in Astoria, Queens, New York. It’s the logo for Social Distortion, one of my and my wife’s favorite bands. We went to see them at Stubb's in Austin as our first date (the date on the top banner). I got this tattoo for our 5th wedding anniversary in 2009. Leigh got a shamrock with my initials."Josh also shared this poem:
The Sunday after Starbucks girl’s party
my head is pounding
and my shame complete.
It didn’t work out… let’s just say
whiskey and vomiting was involved
and never speak of it again.
I squint and groan my way down Nueces
to the drag, to Barnes and Noble.
While browsing Poe
Chris, the assistant manager,
tells me I got the job--
I spend five dollars on a
celebratory Mocha Chip Frappucino
and catch the bus back to Cameron Road
through scary-ass East Austin… where
a dude hovers by the ATM
like the cicadas that are covering it.
I quickly tuck my rent money into my pocket
and get the fuck outta there--
back to my mattress on the floor
and my fire-ant infested cardboard box
that’s acting as my laundry hamper.
My first week at the bookstore
is the first week of my life.
When you smile at me
at the cashwrap
and Hultberg invites us over
My clothes still covered
in stray cherry blossoms.
My frame slowly filling out again
after more than a year
of fish and seaweed.
We three debate
punk records over
Lone Stars and steaks,
and I feel myself
weaving into you.
~ ~ ~
Josh Medsker is a New Jersey poet, originally from Alaska. His work has appeared in many publications, including: The Brooklyn Rail, Haiku Journal, Dissident Voice, and Contemporary American Voices. (www.joshmedsker.com)
Thank to Josh and all of our other contributors this month, who shared their tattoos and poetry this month on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!
The list of poets who appeared this April, and in years past, can be found at www.tattooedpoets.com.
This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.