PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorythmic Age

This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 6 Number 6, 1976.

Two Poems Grevel Lindop


TATTOOIST

She asked me for a butterfly
there, on her shoulder. No one knows
what goes on under the skin.
I was a man with time to kill
for money, and an art to sell,
patient enough with my line
to take the minimum of pain
filling a chosen space
and never choosing the design.

I worked at a square inch,
a needle nuzzling the skin.
I wiped the blood off where the line
was drawn, a blue embroidery
in the margin of her world.
She paid, and I am free to stay
like the ice-cream man and the clairvoyant
and the others who sell their addictions;
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image