Thursday, April 30, 2020

This Too... (Joolz Denby on the Tattooed Poets Project)

Our last post for the 2020 Tattooed Poets Project (in National Poetry Month, at least), comes to us from a returning contributor, Joolz Denby.

Joolz appeared in the Tattooed Poets Project in 2012 here.

Joolz sent us the following tattoo from her leg, noting she "thought it was appropriate."

Indeed, very appropraite.

The artist is Ben Stone (@benstonetattoo) in Derby, UK.

Jools also sent along the following poem:

Boy, You Need the Road      

Boy, you need the Road,
the lazy white stitch of heaven’s path leading through the
sun’s bright benediction criss-cross and mazy to some
wild-thyme scented hillside lying silvery sweet and
blood warm under high cirrus clouds embroidering
the lapis-lazuli of the southern sky like prayer flags,
far, far away from the bricks and mortar menagerie
of your home town’s crash-and-burn Saturday night circus.

Boy, you need the Road,
nights of fast-forward spirit-driven dazzling highs;
luminous surf pulse of breathing icy turquoise oceans,
you sprawled on a black beach wrapped in a ragged blanket,
a salt-green witch fire flickering cold and lighting up no earthly place
but burning in your flesh like those lost and long-gone kisses you
miss so much and crave with a junkie’s jack-up fever
in your aching and unmended heart.

Boy, you need the Road,
playing your old guitar through dawn’s blue incense
that rises over canyons of crystal sheathed skyscrapers
in a hotel room so  bleach-clean and anonymous it hurts,
the songs you pick so idly the diary of your flight,
staring into the lying whore of a mirror that shows a face you
would not have known to be your own - a face that shows everything
but tells nothing to the world you travel like a cruel angel.

Boy, you need the Road,
it will be your sweet and savage consolation, Star,
it will be your demon lover and your loving mother both,
wrapping you in webs of contradiction and razor-bright illusion,
as sinning saint and sanctified sinner you eat magic, breathe voodoo,
try everything as you search through souks and shanties, plazas
and favellas - dirt and diamond-crusted alike - for a way
into the shadow-land to find your true name and your dead love.

Boy, you need the Road,
if you don’t go, go, go - fast as those great opal wings can bear you
out of the stink and ceremony of your expected life -
if you don’t go - and this is no word of a lie, my sweetheart,
real life will get you, and a nice girl and her babies
will get you and bang-up straight-time work will get you
and you’ll choke on it all in the neat little chain-store bedroom
where you cry when you think no one hears your terrible pain.

Boy, you need the Road,
better run, baby, better run right now and don’t look back
because you mustn’t regret and you mustn’t hear the siren song
sung by the ones who stayed and lost and drank and drugged
their way to their own safe and stinking seat at the bar in Hell Town:
so run fast on those long legs and shake the clinging dust
of home from your boot heels as an offering to Holy Mother Mary,
a sacrifice for your last chance free and clear rock n’ roll great escape.

Well, that’s my prayer for you, anyhow, that’s my last blessing.
So, boy, you need the Road;
you need the Road,
you need the Road,
Boy listen, listen, listen - before it’s all too late.
You need the Road.

~ ~ ~

Joolz Denby is an artist/tattooist/writer /poet from England and can be found on Facebook here, Twitter (here), Instagram (here), YouTube (here), Amazon (here), and at

Thanks to Joolz for contributing again to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

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

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

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