the assignment for this poem was to write first a list of five concrete nouns, then a list of five action verbs, and finally a list of five specific modifiers (adjectives/adverbs).
Once we had our lists it was then revealed that we needed to write a poem about a hand. This is what I created.
Her crafty hand writes your stories
across your skin in bizarre and poignant
Steadily, it grips the gun
that drives the needle to plummet deep into your
arm, back, leg, shoulder.
Sometimes you yell out when a tender area meets
but the hand continues to feel its way rather than go by
Accurate line-work and detailed fill flow quickly and effortlessly
from this faceless grip.
The hand is led by the needle which screams
against the moan and creak of the artist’s chair
as she moves in to get her angles just so.
You appear to sleep as you lie on her
table next to the ledge of
empty beer cans.
(No questions are asked, no explanations given)
But the irritation of her hand’s technique assures that you are gritting
your teeth, not resting your
eyes from hours at your computer.
The hand wipes the cool, soapy liquid over your inflamed skin one last, satisfying
without words you know,
the tattoo is complete.
My lists were:
Nouns: tattoo, beer, book, computer, chair
Verbs: scream, yell, sleep, write, plummet
Modifiers: accurate, bizarre, satisfying, poignant, crafty