Sunday, 30 March 2014

April is Almost Here, and That Means Tattooed Poets!

On April 1, we will once more embark on a month-long celebration of tattooed poets, as part of the Tattooed Poets Project here on Tattoosday.

This year, we had over a hundred poets from four countries express an interest in participating and we've culled down the list, but I couldn't turn everyone away so we'll be posting twice daily, with a few exceptions.

One of the people who reached out to me was Anthony, "a rank and file family doctor who writes for his local newspaper." He told me "I have always been a prose writer but use my own name only for ... [a] poetry blog and newspaper," and added that he is working on publishing a chapbook.

He loves poetry so much, he's been inked with verse:


That's the first stanza of "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" by Dylan Thomas:

And death shall have no dominion.   
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,   
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;   
Though they go mad they shall be sane,   
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;   
Though lovers be lost love shall not;   
And death shall have no dominion.

This was inked on his right thigh by an artist named CJay, formerly of Rising Dragon when the shop was still on 23rd street in Manhattan.

And on his left thigh:


That's the first stanza of Robert Lowell's "Waking Early Sunday Morning:"

O to break loose, like the chinook
salmon jumping and falling back,
nosing up to the impossible
stone and bone-crushing waterfall –
raw-jawed, weak-fleshed there, stopped by ten
steps of the roaring ladder, and then
to clear the top on the last try,
alive enough to spawn and die.

Anthony told me this was tattooed
"at a juncture in life when I sought transcendence. And left thigh to serve as MY Fisher King Scar, Dad, the writer, had his own. This was my indelible commitment to creative thought, below it the Haida Salmon by Bill Reid.
The Robert Lowell stanza was done by an unknown tattoo artist in Flagstaff Arizona - he did it freehand. The Haida Salmon was done at Burly Fish in Flagstaff."
Thanks to Anthony for sharing his poetic tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Be sure to visit in the month of April to celebrate a full thirty days of tattoos and poetry!

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