Friday, September 30, 2016

Tattooed Poet of the Month - Shane McCrae

The month of September has drawn to an end and I almost forgot our Tattooed Poet of the Month!

Meet Shane McCrae, who shared this tattoo:


Shane tells us:
"I got this here tattoo the summer before my senior year at college. A few months previously, I had gone through an awful break-up that was entirely my fault. In the midst of the break-up, Madonna’s 'What It Feels Like for a Girl' video premiered. Now, I don’t know whether you remember that video, but in it Madonna’s badass character has the word 'LOVED' tattooed on the back of her neck. I saw this and was immediately moved by it—I’m still moved by the memory. And though I had never wanted a tattoo before, suddenly I wanted that tattoo, and I wanted it on the back of my neck. A few months later, in the final days of summer, I was hanging out with my mom in Portland, and on the spur of the moment, it was decided (my mom was somehow even more into the idea than I was) that I should get the tattoo, but on my arm. I don’t remember exactly where I got it done, but I’ve noticed it every day since, and it has made me happy every day since. I think of it as both a record of, and a reminder of, an aspiration—it reminds me to love more.
As a reference, here's the aforementioned video:



Shane also shared this poem:

The Image of the Body in the Mind


In 1995 I moved     Lord from one side     / Of Jacksonville to the other

Except my money didn’t change

But the apartment Lord was nicer

I rented from a man I can’t remember     now unless I slide



Boss Hogg’s face and body

Over his face and body in my mind

Which now are blanks expecting Boss Hogg’s face and body

But he was kind



Or what     I thought was kind back then

Lord     / When I was poor     / And told me in his office I can’t now begin

Lord     / Even to picture

if I don’t first picture Rosco bringing him bad news



He’d let me rent a place I couldn’t     not     on SSI afford

As long as I     wouldn’t complain     / Yes

roaches but no roaches     when I woke up

crawling on my eyes

~ ~ ~ 

Shane McCrae teaches at Oberlin College and at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program. His most recent books are In the Language of My Captor (forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press in 2017) and The Animal Too Big to Kill (Persea Books, 2015). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a fellowship from the NEA, and a Pushcart Prize.

Thanks to Shane for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!



This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Drew's New Tattoo, by Amanda Wachob

I met Drew a couple of weeks ago in lower Manhattan near Bowling Green. The tattoo on her arm was still just a week or two old and I'll admit, I asked her first if it even was a tattoo, because it was so exceptionally well-done, it almost looked like it was freshly-painted on. Check it out:


When Drew confirmed it was, in fact, a tattoo, and then told me the artist was the amazing Amanda Wachob (@amandawachob), I knew how special this tattoo was. Wachob is a brilliant artist with amazing vision, and, quite honestly, finding one of her tattoos in the street is like discovering a rare bird in the wilderness.

There's a great New York Times article about her work here. And, visiting here website at www.amandawachob.com will amaze you, if you have previously been unfamiliar with her work.

Like most of Wachob's clients, Drew gave the artist free reign to do what she does best, which is create phenomenal works of art on flesh. Actually, she works in other media, as well, so saying she is best at tattoo art is selling her short.

And the inspiration for this piece? It's "slime planet and vapor-wave inspired," Drew told me. I could have stared at it all day. I have been blessed to stumble across her work in the streets a few times before, click here to see Wachob's work that has appeared previously on Tattoosday.

Thanks to Drew for sharing her new tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sarah and her Snow White Sleeve

I met Sarah on the F train, last month, en route from Manhattan to Brooklyn. When we both got off at Borough Hall to transfer to our respective trains, we chatted a bit and she consented to me snapping a few photos. Check out her sleeve:


That's Snow White, of course, "the first story I was obsessed with," Sarah told me, noting that her first Halloween costume, hand-sewn by her mother, was also that of the fairy tale character.

The details in the sleeve are really amazing. I particularly love the raven:


Sarah credited the work to artist Matt Buck (@he_draws), who started the line work when he was still at Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc), in Manhattan. He finished it up at his current shop, No Idols Tattoo (@noidolsnyc).

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remembering the Fallen (A Re-Post for 9/11)

This was posted originally in 2008 and re-posted again in 2009, 2011 and 2013. As I've said in the past, it only seems appropriate to re-run it again today:




Earlier this month, I mentioned meeting Paul here, on the bike path that runs along the southern tip of Brooklyn.

I saved the other tattoo photo I took of Paul's work for today, the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

What I didn't mention in the previous post is that Paul is a federal agent who grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

From his vantage point there, he watched the World Trade Center being built in the late 1960's. He was working in 6 World Trade seven years ago for the U.S. Customs Department when the towers came down, and he spent four months at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, searching for remains.

The tattoo is a poignant piece, with the sun shining between the towers. Below is Paul's badge from the Department of Homeland Security, which has evolved into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Particulatly unusual is the depiction of 9/11 in Roman numerals:

IX XI.


I don't believe I had ever seen it represented that way before.

Like the tattoo in the earlier post, this piece was inked by Joe at Brooklyn Ink.

Thanks to Paul for sharing this WTC memorial piece with us here on Tattoosday.

~ ~ ~

We here at Tattoosday send our thoughts and prayers to all the families of  people who died on 9/11, and to the families of all of the men and women who have died since then, serving our country.

This entry is © 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016 Tattoosday.



If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Birth of Venus Reimagined (Kathleen Nalley, Tattooed Poet of the Month)

Over the years, I have met many a tattooed poet via social media, word-of-mouth, or in person. Kathleen Nalley is the first poet I've met via a tattoo artist.

I met South Carolina artist J.J. Ohlinger (@jjohlinger) at the New York Empire State Tattoo Expo (@nyempirestatetattooexpo) last month in Manhattan.

It was while hanging out at his booth, talking to one of his clients (whose work will appear in a future post), and chatting about Tattoosday, that the subject of tattooed poets came up.

I believe it was J.J.'s wife, who was working the show with him, said that they knew a poet that he had tattooed, and the photo was in his portfolio. The rest, as they say, was history.

I reached out to Kathleen, and she happily agreed to share her cool tattoo:

Photo Courtesy of J.J. Ohlinger
Kathleen explained how this tattoo came to be:
"I got this particular tattoo last June when JJ Ohlinger ran a contest to tattoo three people in celebration of his third year as a tattoo artist. Luckily, I was one of the winners!
As a lover of words, I’d always imagined Boticelli’s Venus coming out of an open book instead of a clamshell. Boticelli’s Venus was known the ‘birth of beauty,’ the feminine ideal. My tat riffs on the idea that women were created to be someone’s beautiful object." 
Kathleen also shared this short poem from her manuscript-in-progress, Gutterflower:

What Man’s Hands Wrought

Long  before  there  was fracking there  was  you unearthing 
the very earth digging trenches in soil spilling your chemical
goo  turning  mud to muck leaving nutrients to dry fuck you 
nature    heals  herself  in  time  even  the  most  eroded can 
make   anew   grow   pickups  from  seed  littered  the  wind 
always  knows  what  to  do  carry  things  away carry things 
where   they   will  bloom  wildflowers  color  the  landscape 
permeate the  air oh her honeysuckle hue she’s wild always
wild  always  remade  no  matter  the matter or intrusion or
drilling or fracture believe her she will
 ~ ~ ~

Kathleen Nalley’s prose poetry manuscript-in-progress, Gutterflower, follows the life of a Southern woman caught in an unending trap of poverty and violence. Kathleen is the author of the chapbooks Nesting Doll and American Sycamore. Her work is forthcoming or recently has appeared in Fall Lines, New Flash Fiction Review, Slipstream, Rivet, and storySouth, among others. Not surprisingly, she has a poem forthcoming in a violence against women-themed anthology from Sable Books.

Thanks to Kathleen for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday, and to J.J.Ohlinger for introducing us!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Married Together, Buried Together

I met Geri last month on Wall Street. This tattoo jumped out of me, so I had to ask her about it:


Geri explained this represents her and her husband:
"We've been together for five years ... when we first met, we used to joke that we were gonna get buried together and when I decided I wanted to get married, I don't really believe in divorce, if I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it once, so ... below it is our names [on heart-shaped headstones] ... At the time I had short hair and he has really long hair, so [the one with short hair] is me."
Geri was visiting from Pittsburgh and she credited this work to Mike from In Your Skin Tattooing in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Geri for sharing her tattoo with us on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Musician Monday: Louis, Patrick Swayze, and Wolverine

I met Louis down on Broad Street while he was walking some dogs.

I spoke to him briefly about his tattoos, gave him my card, and said we should talk further when he didn't have the dogs with him.

A few weeks later, I spotted him again, dogless. We sat down and talked about his tattoos.

First, this fabulousness:


This is a portrait of the late Patrick Swayze, with the banner 'PAIN DON'T HURT," which alludes to the film Road House.

Louis explained:
"It's a movie I saw a few years ago ... it's so bad, it's good ... I definitely love the movie ... I just really wanted to get the Swayze tattoo ...'Pain don't hurt,' it's laughable when he says that line in the movie ... I also found his biography at a Goodwill for a dollar and I bought it ... I read some of it, he had an interesting life ... the dedication in the front was to his father, who he said 'taught me that a man can be tough and gentle at the same time.' He was a dancer, horseback rider, he did all these fight movies, I thought that was really cool."

He also shared this Wolverine rib piece:


Louis elaborated:
"I grew up with the X-Men cartoons in the Nineties, it was like one of those things that my dad use to work overnights, like Friday night, he would work all Friday night, he would come home Saturday morning, he'd bring bagels or something for breakfast ... and we would watch that cartoon, that was like Saturday, we'd live for that. I just remember that as a kid, and also, I read comic books still, and it's one of my favorite characters, as well ... it has a lot of significance to me."
He got this tattoo more than ten years ago from Kurt Fagerland at Empire State Studios (@empirestatestudio) out on Long Island. Fagerland has since moved on and resides in Georgia.

I did mention in the title of this post that it is "Musician Monday." Louis also happens to be the drummer for a Brooklyn band called Ellen and the Degenerates, you can check them out here.

Thanks to Louis for sharing his awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.