Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Darren Demaree and Emily (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Darren C. Demaree, who first appeared on Tattoosday in April 2013 (here) and, again, in April 2014 (here). Darren heeded my call for returning contributors and sent the following photo:

His tattoo, which reads, "Emily says I'm a good man," crosses his ribcage. He tells us that he got the inscription "at a shop on High Street in Columbus that has since changed their name a couple of times."

Darren sent us the following poem from his Emily series:


There was one look, one picture
of Emily in a bathtub right before
we got married, she was travelling

with her family, she was in Madrid
or Paris or Istanbul, she had been gone
for a couple of weeks, so I had been

drunk for a couple of weeks
& she knew that I had been drunk
for a couple of weeks, so she sent me

a picture of her in the bathtub, one
breast covered, hair in a way I’d never
seen before, looking directly at the faucet

& so surely the tatters of my world 
collected into a whole woman
so beautiful that when I got the picture

I accidently deleted the picture.
I remember it clearly though, her face,
elegant, angry that she didn’t have

her hands wrapped around the back
of my head to pull me off of the bottle.
She wanted to bury me in her beauty

& that almost worked too well.
I am sober.  I don’t have that picture.
I have Emily.  She looks at me now.

~ ~ ~

Darren C. Demaree is the author of thirteen poetry collections, most recently So Clearly Beautiful, (November 2019, Adelaide Books). He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. @d_c_demaree (

Anyone interested in the collection of “Emily as” poems can get it from Harpoon Books here.

Thanks to Darren for returning to Tattoosday to contribute to the Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2020 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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