Friday, April 30, 2010

The Tattooed Poets Project: Jozi Tatham

As we reach the final days of the Tattooed Poets Project 2010, let's read this poem from Jozi Tatham:

Huntsville, Alabama

-William Eggleston, 1978

An old man sits on the end

of a hospital made bed, and he watches

to the left with hospital made hands

in his lap. The room collapses

behind him, folding in on itself in

neatly creased corners, a white tiled

ceiling only slightly illuminated by

the unseen light that hangs by a chain,

and a murder red shag carpet vacuumed into

cornstalk rows, with walls the color of

sunflowers in late fall, sopping

in decay under a dirty south sun. Everything

is static. A plastic, sticky vinyl

that squeaks with the old

man’s presence, and it doesn’t

really matter where you go, as long as

you check out from this room, so the

shine can be buffed and the corners can be

cut. The geometry of breathing. He woke

this morning, ironed his white

shirt so that the subtle crease down

the middle back hugged his spine,

wet his comb in the alcove

bathroom before running it through

the hair that rings the crown that was

misplaced long ago, shined the same

black wing-tipped shoes he bought for

a job interview at the post office that he

walked out of with half a torn stamp stuck

to his sole and nothing more, and all he

can do now is lick the sticky side and hope

that the room holds up for a little while

longer, because check out isn’t until noon.


This poem is previously unpublished.

Please check out one of Jozi's amazing tattoos over on Tattoosday here.

Jozi Tatham is currently a poetry MFA student at George Mason University in Virginia. She hails from Milwaukee, WI where she received her BA and the place which serves as "the inspiration for most of my being thus far." She has been published in newspapers and small publications in the Milwaukee area for poetry and nonfiction.

Thanks to Jozi for participating in the Tattooed Poets Project!

1 comment:

mikey said...

yea joz!! good for you!
monkey :)