Russ tells us:
"This one was my third tattoo, and the one I have the best picture of. It's an illustration of an abandoned lighthouse in Denmark by one of my favorite musicians, Jens Lekman. You can see the source if you scroll down to the April 17th entry here
The tattoo was done for an absurdly reasonable price at Anonymous Tattoo in Savannah, GA. I unfortunately did not get the name of the artist."
Russ sent us the following poem, which was originally published in Sway Press issue 2:
THIS MORNING WAS A ROCK IN THE MOUTH
of a cave I came across fly fishing.
It had a word written on it I couldn't
figure out, except that it made my mouth
move something like "azimuth" or "coriolis"
or some other word I can't hold at once
& I said it softly while inhaling,
like an apartment fire you keep
in your chest when your town is too dark.
The fish I caught were scaleless & sang
I'm still in love with you like a choir
you hold in a box next to your ear
when you're shaking too hard to stand
& the altos lit matches all at once in unison
& that cave lit up like a bronze statue caught
in a floodlight & all our parents were there
with knives in their teeth, looking hard at me
& asked where you were & I said you were
in surgery & they asked what was wrong
& I said you were in surgery & they said no
what was wrong that you needed surgery
& I explained how the doctors don't know
how it got there but on the x-ray there is a
tiny not-you that is just like you but dead
& it is growing & pushing the you-you out
& they have to act fast or there will be only
not-you, dead-you left in you & the fish started
crying & their matches went out & alone there
I said that word again & again like it was your name,
like I was a nurse in the wrong waiting room.
~ ~ ~
Russ Woods directs us to his poetry portfolio site at http://moonbears.biz. He is the author of two books coming out this year, Wolf Doctors (Artifice Books, March) and Sara, or, the Existence of Fire (Horse Less Press, Fall). Recent/forthcoming publications include Salt Hill, Guernica, Columbia Poetry Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast.
Thanks to Russ for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.