Monday, May 03, 2010

The Official Tattooed Lady

I thought it would hurt more
this needling and inking of pictures
coming to life on my skin

this black and blue here
across my heart
looks like an eye

could have been anything maybe
a bullseye for any sighting weapon
ah, hell, didn't I ask for this

sign up for it
didn't I pay
this here across my back

these flowers and snakes
look real, don't they
blood coils and green coils

if you look close you can see
something caught and dying
on those thorns, those fangs

that bifurcated tongue
this is how I make my living, see
I show the world what eats me alive

the little acorns and dollar signs
at the small of my back
they're for love and luck

and the little ladybug here
on my lip
they haven't worked yet

but who knows
why did I do it you ask
I want people to see

what I look like.

(This is what the world's most tattooed lady said when asked why she did it.}


momA said...

I think they do it because they like to self destruct, but whatever I guess. I like your poem anyway.

Tammy Brierly said...

That's exactly why I got mine so of course I liked your poem. ;)

caroleesherwood said...

that's a great answer to why did you do it! oh, i'm so glad you wrote this and i'm glad you told us that was a real question and a real answer (though the poem works without that knowledge). i like this tour of the body art as a way for the poem to travel.

hi! thanks for joining us!

Tumblewords: said...

Finely inked!

irene said...

A neat tattoo poem. 2nd one I read about tattooed lady. Glad I visited!

lucychili said...

wearing her heart
on her sleeve =)

Linda Jacobs said...

Her answer definitely was a poem! Good job!

Derrick said...

Well written. I can't help but think that people who are covered in tattoos are trying to hide the real person rather than show who they are.

Linda said...

Tattoos -- a form of self-destruction or a way to brand yourself? The outer sleeve hides the inner motivations....great insight!

Short Poems said...

Lovely tattoo poem, glad i found you,beautiful blog :)

Jo A. T.B. said...

Great poem Joyce! Do you have a tattoo? I don't, I thought of getting one once on my breast but chickened out! I like the look of my skin best! I know I've seen people get loved ones tattooed, a validation of love! Good writing!

jasonriedy said...

I'm always jealous of breathing canvases, and you've shown why. Great!

one more believer said...

really like this lady how she shines and comes alive with every line spoken.. i was reminded of that movie the illustrated man i saw a long, long time ago...

Deb said...

I love this, Joyce. "I show the world what eats me alive" really got me, but "I want people to see// what I look like." was exceptional.

It is so cool to have you with us under the Big Top. Thank you and welcome!!

vivienne blake said...

Beautifully written. I specially like: 'ah, hell, didn't I ask for this'
could be a metaphor for the vile effects of smoking!

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

You did a fine job giving voice to this character. Your words make her very, very real. Vivid and engaging.


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Many thanks to all who came by and left a comment! I appreciate it!

Paul Oakley said...

My timely response must have gotten lost in cyberspace. So here's a less than timely one. Great to see you again, Joyce! Delightful take on body mod:

why did I do it you ask
I want people to see

what I look like.


S.L. Corsua said...

I like how you've captured the personality of the tattooed lady, how she speaks, when she lets out a sigh or a huff, as when she says "ah, hell, didn't I ask for this." I imagine her grinning, actually, with a knowing look. ;)

Nithin R S said...

Nice tattoo and brilliant explanation.