Monday, April 20, 2020

The Light Shines in the Darkness (Courtney Thrash on the Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Courtney Thrash, who sent us this photo:

Courtney recounted how she got thi tattoo:
"Several years ago, I endured a very difficult period in my life. After the dust settled, I looked over my journals and poems from that period and found dozens of instances where I had written about the concepts of darkness and light and their interactions--with no conscious realization of the theme. Once it was part of my awareness, I could trace the thread of light (hope) shining in and bringing me out of many varieties of darkness throughout my life. The light, for me, has a very specific and religious meaning, which is why I chose this phrase from the gospel of John for my tattoo. In its entirety, the phrase reads: 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.' My tattoo serves as both memorial and prescript, totem and prescience, proclamation of truth and victory and desperate prayer for times of doubt and defeat. The tattoo was done by Betty Rose (@bettyrosetattoos) of Rose & Crown Tattoos (@roseandcrowntattoos) in Austin, TX."
Courtney sent us the following poem, as well:

Mama, I Don’t Believe  
After C.D. Wright’s More Blues and the Abstract Truth  
The first freckles appear on his nose.  
Nerf gun bullets whistle like real ones;  
He shares a birthday   
with his great grandfather.  
And I say, No, he didn’t come  
to the party. He was already dead.  
In early April, we thumbed seeds into the dark;  
At the end of June he asks after  
the watermelon vine absent from the sill.  
I bury the tiny planter in the trash  
and say, I’m still learning  
how to grow things.  
Then there are the jokes he tells, doesn’t get,  
the legos in my purse, the toes  
rubbing holes through his shoes, moving  
notches up the door frame.  
He tells me his love in numbers.  
And I say, love is infinite  
or nothing.  
Well, mama, he says.  
What about apologies. What about waterfalls  
that never end. And superheroes who stop  
bad guys. Lock them up in vaults  
like your papers and Mamaw’s brooch,  
day. after. day. And will Papaw Richard  
come back to life with Jesus?  
He cries when a cartoon robot longs for love.  
And I say, a hornworm will strip a tomato plant  
Faster Than You Can Say Famine.

~ ~ ~

Courtney Thrash is a poet, writer, editor, mom, and wife in Austin, TX. You can find her work on the American Scholar’s poetry column “Next Line, Please,” in Rascal, and on Instagram @courtneythrashwriter, but mostly in notebooks and word documents.

Thanks to Courtney for sharing her tattoo with us on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

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

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