Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Rochelle Hurt on the Tattooed Poets Project

Our next tattooed poet is Rochelle Hurt, who offered up these tattoos:

Rochelle explains:
"The girls in the tattoos are from Dorothea Tanning's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Tanning is one of my favorite visual artists. She was a surrealist who made incredibly strange and moving paintings, sculptures, and poems. She once wrote that this painting in particular was about confrontation and depicted the ways in which our fear of the unknown is 'a projection of our own imaginations: our own private nightmares.' In it, one of the girls looks wild as she contends with a giant sunflower, while the other seems to have already struggled with it. In my mind they were always the same girl on either side of her private nightmare. Both states seemed important, necessary to the whole. That's why I had to get them tattooed together. (Only later did I read that one of the girls is perhaps a doll, which opens a whole new world of thought on the private nightmare.) The tattoo was done by an amazing artist named Kaitlyn Anne (@kaitlynxanne).
Rochelle also sent us this poem, which was first published in Grist:

Prayer for Exposure
O my hallowed CAT-scan, my X-ray of hope,
my moral microscope, my consecrated blood draw,
my pious pee test, my forensic father almighty,
my soul-seeking sleuth, my perpetual black light,
my sublime radar, my most private eye of eyes,
my silent paparazzo, my righteous nanny cam,
my reverse peephole, my sudden curtain pull,
my MagLite in the back alley of bedtime prayers,
my spiritual lock-pick, my sacred search warrant
my heavenly two-way mirror, my holy wiretap,
my giant ear to the wall of this profane heart,
my magnificent magnifying glass, my magic decoder:
look quick while I write all my sins on my skin
with the disappearing ink of your forgiveness.

~ ~ ~

Rochelle Hurt the author of two books of poems: In Which I Play the Runaway (Barrow Street, 2016), which won the Barrow Street Poetry Prize, and The Rusted City: A Novel in Poems (White Pine, 2014). Her work has been included in the Best New Poets anthology and she's been awarded prizes and fellowships from Crab Orchard Review, Arts & Letters, Hunger Mountain, Poetry International, Vermont Studio Center, Jentel, and Yaddo. She lives in Orlando, where she teaches in the MFA program at the University of Central Florida and runs the review site The Bind.

Thanks to Rochelle for her contribution to the 2020 Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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