Saturday, January 29, 2022

Al Shares a Rib Tattoo by Bianka Nedbál

In July 2018, I was on Governor's Island for the New York City Poetry Festival to enjoy poetry and spot tattoos. I met Al who was kind enough to let me take this photo:


Al credited this work to Bianka Nedbál (@bianca_nedbal) who worked out of Edison Bar & Ink in Budapest, Hungary before it closed in September 2020.

Al told me the design was inspired by a photo of a staircase bannister that Bianka then interpreted into this lovely tattoo on her ribs.

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

This entry is ©2022 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.

Friday, January 28, 2022

You Get What You Get For Your Birthday

Last summer on my birthday, my family and I headed to Crown Hieights, Brooklyn, and celebrated the day, in part, at Electic Anvil Tattoo:


My daughters, Jolee and Shayna, had decided to treat their old dad to a new tattoo. What was I getting? It was still undetermined:


What's this? To those who aren't familiar with the concept, a customer pays for a token that they drop in the gumball machine. A little plastic ball drops after twisting the handle, and inside the bulb is a drawing. That's what you've just selected for your new tattoo. What happens if you don't like it? You can pay extra for a second chance, but you can also walk away. This rarely happens, I am told. Most people who are game enough to take the chance, are not going to walk away.

Needless to say, I liked my design and, as a bonus, the tattooer available to me was none other than Jason Monroe (@jason_monroe), who had tattooed me eight years earlier at a special Sailor Jerry event (read about it here).


The design I got it was this cool little Reaper, which now graces my left leg, just above the ankle. 

When Jason asked if I wanted color, I deferred to him, so he was able to add the red he thought was best for the design. I thought getting a grim reaper tattoo on my birthday was pretty iconic, and the fact that it was a gift from my kiddos made it all the more special.

I should add that my daughter Shayna also "got what she got" - the family concluded she got a better design (although I was 100% happy with the outcome):


This tattoo, on Shayna's inner left forearm, was done by Josh Arseneau (@josharseneau) and was also a "Get What You Get" special.

Thanks to my kids for this awesome birthday gift and to Jason Monroe and the rest of the Electric Anvil crew for making it a memorable birthday!


This entry is ©2021, 2022 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.

Friday, April 30, 2021

dawn lonsinger and the Three of Swords (The Tattooed Poets Project)

We didn't want National Poetry Month to end without celebrating at least one tattooed poet.

Fortunately, previous contributor dawn lonsinger has been kind enough to share, with some new ink to appreciate!


dawn elaborates:
"I got this Three of Swords tattoo -- on some level -- to mark the grief of this year, of all the losses piling on top of each other, the pandemic making even more vivid the disturbing social inequities & technological dysphoria & substratal loneliness in this country. In tarot, the Three of Swords card represents suffering from major heartbreaks or betrayals, feeling lonely or lost or both . . . hence the heart (seat of love & beauty & affection) pierced through with three swords, which is also often depicted in front of a stormy sky with rain pelting down, the way mourning feels inside of us. And who among us -- in this warring world -- has not been heart-riven? 

Depending on the day, depending on the mood, I name the three swords: childhood, heartbreak, health . . . or capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy . . . or subjectivity, loneliness, death . . . or poetry, poetry, poetry . . . or Philomela, Antigone, Cassandra . . . or after those who have wounded me the most: P, J, K, or after those I have lost & miss: Carol, Sue, X. And, of course, I know I will keep on renaming them, because none of us know what our most profound penetrating incandescent woundings will be until the end. I also think it is meaningful that the swords -- tools of war -- pierce not into viscera, but into our symbol for interiority; the flesh of language against (in both senses) the mayhem of metal & 'progress'. 

Of course, when this tarot card is reversed -- which is how I see it -- it means some kind of reconciliation with pain, maybe forgiveness, maybe release or optimism. But I like -- either way -- that it's not a heart broken, but a heart wounded, and in an ongoing way. I think -- because we are addicted to narratives of transformation & transcendence -- that we are often too eager to be done with loss/pain/grief, to be healed, even though the ache reminds us of what we've held precious/irreplaceable, something or someone or some time that filled us with blooming. 

I don't buy the old adage that 'time heals all wounds;' rather, time gives us the space to learn how to better dialogue & dance with the pain, which remains. Whenever I get too precious, too tornadoed by how unintelligible and unfair the world, and am tempted to wish things were easier, that we could banish sadness . . . I remind myself that idealism is violent, and GOOD VIBES ONLY is a mantra of the repressed . . . and of something John Keats wrote in a letter: 'Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?' 

In my tattoo -- more classic in design & color than my other tattoos -- there are three flowers over the heart, and blood & rain (or tears) falling. I'm into its all-at-once wilding & smarting & opening & ablution. Also, my friend Aggie says the blood-tipped ends of the swords look like pencils, and that's a misrecognition I can get behind."

dawn credited the work to Orrin Hurley (@orrinhurley) from Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Brooklyn, New York. 

dawn also shared this poem, which appeared previously in The Los Angeles Review, Summer 2020: 

A History

We were too late. The knots of clay & kink
of thorn & prophecy of fur were cleared away & the sun

was already a dividend of glass facades and rearview mirrors.
Between people a line of some sort or another:

grocery line, bottom line, perforation, window sill, the edge
of the bed. Your guess is as good as mine. Between you and me

are 92 blocks, 18 subway entrances, technicolor jungle-print
tablecloths in a dollar store folded into perfect squares

and stacked one on top of the other like prayer books,
kids snaking circles in the waterless fountain while

snowy branches hook around the sky’s bloodless neck.
Between people a line of some sort or another: exit only lane,

exclamation point, barbed wire, zipper, mail slot, trench,
the circumference of your wrist. Between you and me

the problem of fathers, snack packs of applesauce,
the questions of the dead clinging to the wet landscape

of the living, and countless lottery machines curving
tiny numbers like the bones of our inner ears onto slips of paper,

scattered secrets, and an aisle in every hardware store
where assorted compendiums of nails hang suspended like dreams,

beautifully fallow as if they might be spared utility. Between people
a line of some sort or another: deadline, Uber ride, VIP access line, fire

line, hemline, referendum, lip. And above us, chiffon shifts
of swallows unfolding a way out of the infrastructure, but also

above us: the intimations of heaven & our estrangement,
and below the underpaid line cooks & dishwashers, wingless

& sweating. Ours is a ghost story. Ours is a luxury gone
sour and a love gone sweet. Ours are the nameless blooms

we keep calling by made-up names expedient and/or beautiful,
the hydrangeas head-heavy
………………………………………& woozy by the checkout.

~ ~ ~

dawn lonsinger is the author of Whelm (winner of the 2012 Idaho Prize in Poetry and Freund Prize), and recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, four Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes, Utah Poetry Prize in Prose and Poetry, the Greg Grummer Poetry Prize (chosen by Eduardo Corral), and runner up for the Poetry Society of America’s Emily Dickinson Award (chosen by H.L. Hix). Her poems and lyric essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, Subtropics, Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. Her poem, “Sundress,” was chosen by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book to be featured in their Public Poetry Project, and appeared on 1500 posters distributed to libraries, public schools, bookstores, and universities. She holds an MFA from Cornell University, a PhD from the University of Utah, and is an Associate Professor at Muhlenberg College, teaching Creative Writing, Poetry & Politics, and Monstrosity & Apocalypse in Literature and Film. She has recently finished a creative nonfiction book that tries to navigate the consanguinity and dissonance between erotics and robotics in a Tindering world, and is now working on finishing a second book of poems, The Long and Terrible Taming, which explores taming and wildness in all its manifestations, and a speculative fiction novel, Beast, that strives to upend our ontological assumptions about animality vs. humanity. 

I am extremey grateful to dawn for returning to the Tattooed Poets Project and sharing her new tattoo and her poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!



This entry is ©2021 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.net 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.



Friday, March 12, 2021

Jolee's Ghost Light Shines Through the Pandemic

Yesterday, when the world was acknowledging the first anniversary of the delcaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was thinking about today, the anniversary of the lights going out on Broadway and in theaters across New York City. 

This was a particularly big deal in our home, as my daughter Jolee is an actor and worked front of house at The Public Theater.

This made me think of an amazing tattoo she got back in 2018, a "ghost light" on her thigh:


Jolee explains:
"A ghost light is an electric light that is left lit on the stage of a theater when the theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. The light stands on a wheeled mount, and the bulb sits within a wire cage, and is placed center stage. Ghost lights also have superstitious justifications, as there are countless stories from centuries of theater about ghost lights being left lit to either appease the ghosts of a theater or to scare them away while no one is there to do that themselves."
She adds:
"I chose a ghost light for a variety of reasons. I wanted a commemorative tattoo for the art in which I've dedicated most of my life's work, but also had a sort of ambiguous nature. A deeply personal tattoo, yet also has a universal understanding amongst other artists. I like to think that the light for my love of theater remains lit throughout my life, no matter what happens."

As we look forward to the future, I like to think that the "light at the end of the tunnel" that is just out of reach is a ghost light, illuminating our way to a day when theaters will be open and vibrant again, as actors re-take their stages and bring their art back to life. 

This super cool tattoo was designed and crafted by the incomparable Alex McWatt (@alexthreekings) at Three Kings Tattoo (@threekingstattoo) in Manhattan. Alex has tattooed everyone in our family and his work has appeared numerous times on Tattoosday previously (click here to see what else we've featured).

Thanks to Jolee for sharing her tattoo and words with us here on Tattoosday! I look forward to seeing her on stage in the future, emanating her own light as an actor, and continuing to make me proud.

This entry is ©2021 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.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Kristin's Disneyana Sleeve

We're clearing out our pre-pandemic backlog and today featuring some Disney-themed tattoos spotted at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade back in June 2018.

I met Kristin pre-parade at the Coney Island Brewing Company and talked to her about her arm.


In addition to the piece at the top of the arm,


but also features Cinderella and Prince Eric.

She also has this Ariel piece:


She credited the work to artist Joe Budds at Monarch Tattoo in New Jersey.

Thanks to Kristin for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2021 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, March 7, 2021

Amina's Gypsy Wolf Tattoo (from the Archives)

Tattoosday recently came off hiatus and we're posting all those goodies that never made it to the blogosphere.

Below is another tattoo I spotted at the 2018 Summer Vibe convention out on Long Island:


Amina credited Macho (@tattoos_by_macho) with the work.

Thanks to Amina for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2021 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.




Saturday, March 6, 2021

Hugo's Back (from the Archives)

Working through some old posts, I stumbled across a few from 2018's United Ink Summer Vibe show out on Long Island.

Check out this work on Hugo, featuring a Mayan theme, crafted by Roberto Castillo (@roberto_castillo1) from Sacred Tattoo (@sacredtattoonyc) in Manhattan:



Thanks to Hugo for sharing his cool back piece with us here on Tattooday!

This entry is ©2021 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.