Friday, 27 April 2012

The Tattooed Poets Project: Francesco Grisanzio

Every year I meet at least one of the poets featured on the Tattooed Poets Project. Francesco Grisanzio lives in New York and I got the chance to personally photograph his tattoos, which he offered up for us here on Tattoosday:


Francesco explained:

"My tattoos are of the characters from a comic strip I draw, or at least used to draw.

It's been a few years since I made a new strip. The comics haven't been published, but I did receive a great rejection letter from the paper at UMass Amherst when I was a student there.
They said something along the lines of 'We love the art, but you know that this content is unpublishable. Clean it up and we'll talk.'
The tattoos were done in Woonsocket, RI at American Art Tattoo."
Francesco offered up this poem:


Teenage Heaven
After Eddie Cochran
The Coupe, phone, big city—
freedom, Eddie, is what it boils down to.
Sharp crew cut cardigan,
our dearest son,
patriot, toe tap child rebel against homework,
enjoy the benefits of citizenship.
You’ve earned it.
Here’s three dollars.
Have a swell weekend.
We trust you not to make a mess.

But it’s not just youthful ignorance
or innocence where you choose to do what’s right on your own.
We’ve been to the drive in show,
seen peacock letterman, gorilla arm not content on headrest.
How dare you chuckle.  She’s just a child.
My God, Eddie, there’s nothing “little snack” about six hotdogs.
That’s beyond ingestion.  Where will they all go?
What are your intentions with our daughter?
We know she’s beautiful, but show restraint.
Little lady, you’re young.  This is heaven.
You can run.  This is America.
Please.  He’s an animal.  A beast.
And, Eddie, we’re very disappointed in you.


~ ~ ~

Francesco Grisanzio is currently working on his MFA in poetry at The New School. He earned his BA in English from UMass Amherst. His work has appeared or will be appearing in Word Riot, Fawlt, Why I Am Not a Painter, Strange Machine, and Interrobang!? Magazine.

Thanks to Francesco for his contribution to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission. 


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