Tattoo Song

August 10th, 2013 by Deborah K. Kelly



In the tattoo parlor
to be etched permanently…
And that’s the problem with permanence:
it doesn’t exist until it always has or always will.

Pain and skin and pen and ink and pain.
Stoic, transcendent, present.

Try making some noise!


I  gave the long out breath for a long black line
the vital rib-vein of a leaf,
voicing the breath: aaaaaaaaAAAhhhaahhhhaAaaaaaahhh

Singing pain out, out
from behind eyelids into orange eyelid light.

Rising or falling,
buzzing or ripping,
I learned that pain respects an honest song.

I learned to focus on singing
or the pain in the mind would out-shriek
pain in the body.

No self-pity
and no derision,
no thought of an idea.
Only the song.

Sensation comes and goes.
Only sing an honest song.




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2 Responses to “Tattoo Song”

  1. Benjamin says:

    very nice 🙂

  2. Richard Kelly says:

    Painfully good!

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