Today's tattooed poet is Adam Tamashasky, who sent us this photo of his tattoo:
Adam tells us:
"This image comes out of Charles Darwin’s B Notebook from 1837; as he pored over his notes and began to coalesce his thinking on evolution by natural selection, he sketched a few lines branching from a central trunk. Above this image he wrote merely, 'I think.' I decided to get this tattooed on my inner arm because it represents a couple deep truths for me: one, that we’re bound to each other and all forms of life through tangible, concrete lines; two, humans have the powers of reason and imagination to search for truth."Along with the tattoo, Adam provided this poem:
NOTEBOOK B, JULY 1837
As I idled at a stop light,
A dozen little kids crossed the road,
Holding the handles
Stemming off a white rope
Stretched between their teachers,
And I thought,
"Of course I have to die."
That's an easy thought, I thought,
Until I followed it across the street:
Of course, one day those kids will have to die;
Of course, my own children will have to die
just as, of course, my parents will have to die.
In his brown leather B Notebook,
Sometime in July 1837,
Charles Darwin sketched a brief family tree,
"A" becoming "B," "C," and "D."
I think of this page as the kids disappear;
Not every branch ends in a letter.
~ ~ ~
Adam Tamashasky teaches writing at American University in Washington, D.C. His poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and in 2018 appeared in the Cold Mountain Review, the Innisfree Poetry Journal, and the Delmarva Review. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Thanks to Adam for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday and the Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2019 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.