Robert tells us about his ink:
"The tattoo shown is the work of an artist from Christiansburg, VA. I cannot recall the guy's name, but the shop was called Hot Rod Tattoo. The Tribal portion grew out a armband I got when I was 17. The original armband didn't go around the arm, nor was it very interesting. After a decade of sporting a boring, common, band, I decided to go for a half-sleeve. The tribal I have now is a result of sketches by the artist and a lot of free-hand drawing on my arm. I liked the idea of it being drawn free-hand. The ink triangle was inspired the pink triangle sewn to the clothes of gay men during the Holocaust. During the time I got this tattoo I was really interested in the idea of reclaiming labels."Robert chose this poem to accompany the post:
My 18yr old boyfriend
traces my tattoo
with his finger.
Over the ridge of biceps
up to where arm meets shoulder, shoulder
meets chest, then down
to the pit where coarse hairs edge ink— pink & triangle
& faded. He wants to know
why, months after
the needle last pierced
me leaving the pink triangle held down by black lines like threads pulled through the flesh, the whole thing is still painful & burning
like the places Vaernet
like our rooms in the Auschwitz
that history forgets—
~ ~ ~
Thanks to Robert for his contribution to this year's Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.