Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Tattooed Poets Project, Day 2: Kim Addonizio

Kim Addonizio was at the top of everyone's list when I inquired about tattooed poets. It helps when your tattoo is visible in your author photo. Kim was early to sign on to the project, and the first poet to send me a picture. Her tie to tattoos is enhanced by the fact that she co-edited a book called Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. A National Book Award finalist, she graciously allowed me permission to run the following poem:

First Poem for You

I like to touch your tattoos in complete
darkness, when I can’t see them. I’m sure of
where they are, know by heart the neat
lines of lightning pulsing just above
your nipple, can find, as if by instinct, the blue
swirls of water on your shoulder where a serpent
twists, facing a dragon. When I pull you

to me, taking you until we’re spent
and quiet on the sheets, I love to kiss
the pictures in your skin. They’ll last until
you’re seared to ashes; whatever persists
or turns to pain between us, they will still
be there. Such permanence is terrifying.
So I touch them in the dark; but touch them, trying.
Kim Addonizio, “First Poem For You” from The Philosopher’s Club. Copyright © 1994 by Kim Addonizio. Used by permission from the author.

Read her bio here (and then explore her site).

And check out one of Kim's tattoos over on Tattoosday.

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