Rob has seven tattoos, but points out that 80% of his back is covered. The tattoo he submitted for us to enjoy has special meaning for him:
Perched on his upper back, a quick glance might prompt someone to say "What is that?" Clicking on the photo will enlarge it for better detail. But more importantly, iy's not really about what it is, but what it represents to Rob. We'll let him explain:
I lived in Corpus Christi, TX for three years. It's one of those towns where there's an impressive absence of entertainment and an overabundance of bars. I've always wanted tattoos and decided it was a suitable time to get inked since all my money was going to booze. And college. Those are synonyms, I think.From what I can tell from the shop site and their MySpace page, Jim is still going strong.
Forever Art Tattoo is a small shop in the corner of an eroding shopping center along South Padre Island Drive. The first time I walked I met Jim Sweeney, a hardcore biker who never opened his eyes all the way, called me Brother, and spoke in a very loud monotone voice. I liked him immediately. It was obvious I'd never been in a tattoo shop before and, though I didn't know it at the time, he was charging me very reasonable rates. Jim wound up tattooing my whole back and did a damn good job of it. Most of the work is custom, and a good percentage was done free-hand; some people don't trust their spouses that much.
My favorite aspect of this particular tattoo is that it's original. It's not something I pulled off the wall or brought in to him. This tattoo doesn't represent something in MY life, or MY ideas, or MY friends and family. It represents Jim completely and independently artistic of me. Jim conjured this from the depths of his mind and my only instructions were "give me something badass." I believe he did.
Wherever you are Jim, I hope you've got a good looking woman and your bike is riding smooth. Thanks Brother.
Please head over to BillyBlog to check out one of Rob's poems here.
Rob Talbert is a native Texan and currently pursuing his MFA at Virginia Tech. His poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Southern Poetry Review. He was selected for 2009 Best of the Net and nominated for 2009 and 2010 Best New Poets.
Thanks to Rob for sharing his tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!