Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Tattooed Poets Project, Day 7: Alex Grant

Today's poem is by Alex Grant:


- In memory of Spalding Gray

They say nothing ever changes

but your point of view.

Nothing –
“some thing

that has no existence”

this makes no sense.

I sit in the catacumbas

and listen to the rain

pound the papaya leaves -

my skin like confetti,

my heart a cheap lottery.

I have seen the tiger’s stripes –

they live between

the fine linen sheets

of an office-girl’s bed,

in the afternoon fumblings

of someone who is no-one,

with a heart bursting

like a red balloon

on a tap – the pieces fly

in all directions, you cover

your face with your hand,

and it sticks to your skin

like confetti, like phosphorus

launched from a Greek warship,

like the skin of a plum

peeled by a broken nail.


First Published in Nimrod (2005 Pablo Neruda Prize Honorable Mention)

Alex Grant’s chapbook Chains & Mirrors (NCWN/Harperprints) won the 2006 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize and the 2007 Oscar Arnold Young Award (Best North Carolina poetry collection). His second chapbook, The White Book, was released in 2008 by Main St. Rag Publishing. His full-length ms., Fear of Moving Water, a recent finalist for a number of national book prizes, will be released by Wind Publications in late 2009. His poems have appeared or are upcoming in a number of journals, including The Missouri Review, Smartish Pace, Arts & Letters, Best New Poets 2007, The Connecticut Review, Nimrod and Seattle Review. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and can be found on the web here.

Alex wrote a special poem for the Tattooed Poet's Project to accompany the photos of his tattoos. Head on over to Tattoosday to check them out here.

Thanks to Alex for his participation, and for his patience and cooperation working with me while I worked out some formatting issues on the site.

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