This is a simple tattoo, with a simple explanation.
"I had just gotten married, and my partner and I wanted something to mark the occasion, Paul explained. He went to Graceland Tattoo in Brooklyn, noting "We both liked the simplicity of a geometric shape and all the metaphors and implications of a circle, or ring."
Paul shared the following poem, as well:
Pendulum, Balance Wheel, Escape
Because I live in a clocktower
time moves in reverse.
When I eat I am hungry,
when I wake, the golden weight
dances at the end of its chain.
Gears twist like reptilian
claws of ospreys
planting fish in the sea.
The bells ring twice, once
in the distance and once inside.
The moon is rising just so.
I’m the steady center
of a spinning world.
Every triumph I will achieve is memory.
My daughters walked out on me
before they were born.
Undeveloped photos hang on the wall.
The apples have been moved
to another room.
~ ~ ~
Paul Hlava's poetry has appeared in Narrative Magazine, the PEN Poetry Series, Acentos Review, and Best New Poets, among others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA from New York University and was a Poets House Fellow. He now lives in Seattle. Visit him at www.paulhlava.com.
Thanks to Paul for sharing his poem and tattoo with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2017 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.