“I’ve described this project to acquaintances as being part of a living, breathing art installation. I love thinking about each portion of the poem as we move around in our daily lives, each of us connected to the person whose words come before and after, and wonder what particular shape the whole poem is taking at one point in time. I’m also fascinated that we are a temporal project – someday, the first participant will pass away. One day, the last word or phrase will pass on. As Ani DiFranco said, ‘A tattoo is no more permanent than I am.’ This poem, in one form, will cease to be, but will leave behind 200 extraordinary stories and lives.
I chose my particular phrase, ‘in intricate iteration,’ for a few reasons. I love the alliteration—it feels like it’s truly part of a poem, and I enjoy that close connection to the literary text. My words come from the Scorpio section, and I am myself a Scorpio. I also highly identify with the image of the Scorpion ‘reinventing herself’ and growing back her tail ‘in intricate iteration.’ I identify with this image of the Scorpion growing back her tail, over and over again, still herself, but new after damage, hurt, learning, change, and new knowledge, time and time again.
This project means a lot to me—the connection to my new home, the embracing of tattoos as an art form, the love for literature, and the specialness of being part of such a fascinating piece of art. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to carry these words with me throughout my life.”