Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Tattooed Poets Project: Rebecca Loudon's Violet Vivian

Every year here on the Tattooed Poets Project, we have a poet or two who asks if they could share new work with us and, well, I am always happy to have a visit from TPP alumni.

Rebecca Loudon wowed me back in 2009 with her bee tattoo inspired by a poem by Yeats, so I was excited when she reached out to me to share this piece:



Rebecca explains:
"The tattoo is a replica of Violet Vivian from the painting UNTITLED ("We will slam them with our wings") by the artist and writer Henry Darger. I chose this design because I am writing a book about Henry Darger and I wanted to rescue one of his Vivian Princesses. Tracy Zumwalt at Anchor Tattoo in Seattle was my tattooer."
Rebecca is kind enough to share the following poem, from her manuscript first published by PEEP/SHOW Poetry:


Riding the Slough of Despond

I knew all along there were an underwing
angry with her tricks her fetching doodad
wore a hunch-coat with leather trim
rucked as butcher paper I had no perverse
nor fun from that

I had no
I had none
I had no raw nor anvil
I had a Quest
oh be goddamn a Secret then
on Ferry Slip Road
at Sunbeam Creek or Nestucca
by the Canal

Smelt of bleach and oilwood in church
fluid cleaners along the rail
a little girl for my very own
GOD gave me great failure
boils carbuncles warts I was not
a monster a troll nor stupid as they wrote
just a Secret sewn into my nightclothes
where my hands did never stop flapping

~ ~ ~

Rebecca Loudon is the author of three collections of poetry the most recent being Radish King and Cadaver Dogs. Some of her Henry Darger poems can be found at PEEP/SHOW, Everyday Genius and Diode. She is a professional musician and teaches violin lessons to children.



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