Thursday, May 23, 2019

Morgan and Elanna Share Their Cat-tastic Tattoos

Last summer, I popped into the Milk & Hops beer shop in Chelsea and started chatting with Elanna and Morgan, siblings who happened to be working there.

Morgan shared this really cool tattoo on his arm, a panther comprised of faces:



This was designed and inked by Teide (@teidetattoos), who was working at Alchemy Tattoo (@alchemytattoo) in Los Angeles.

Elanna and Morgan also had a pair of matching tattoos:


Elanna, whose tattoo is on the left, explained that she loves animals, and that there have always been cats in her life.

These matching pieces were done by Fan (@fantattoo531) at Gristle Tattoo (@gristletattoo) in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Elanna and Morgan for sharing their cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 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, May 22, 2019

Hello, Dalí! Bryan's Surrealist Sleeve

Last summer, I met Bryan on the Rector Street subway platform. He was kind enough to share a full sleeve of tattoos inspired by the work of Salvador Dalí:


This section is inspired by The Burning Giraffe (1937):


Then, there's this skull:


This was based on a poster Dalí designed for an anti-venereal disease campaign during World War II, dubbed Vagina Dentata:


Of course, everyone is familiar with this Dalí image, from his famous painting The Persistence of Memory:


The bleeding roses in this tattoo


are inspired by this painting:


And then there is this last skull image:


This piece is based on Dalí's The Face of War:


Bryan credited all of the tattoo work to Chris Mason (@chrismasontattoo) at Live Wire Arts (@livewirearts) in West Islip, New York.

Thanks to Bryan for sharing all of this amazing work with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2019 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, May 14, 2019

Mara's Stickman

Mara, an acquaintance of my wife Melanie, struck up a conversation with her in the fall and, when it came to one of her tattoos, Melanie encouraged Mara to send me the following photo:


Music fans may or may not recognize the "Stickman," but Pearl Jam fans know it well. An icon of the band it its early days, the symbol is still recognized as a universal figure in the band's canon.

Mara told me, "My stickman looks like he’s singing Black (I know he’s technically from Alive, but I love Black too)." 


She added that, "The notes are the melody to the line: Tattooed all I see, all I am, all I’ll be..."



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

This entry is ©2019 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, May 10, 2019

Stephanie's Lovely Half-Sleeve

Yesterday, I posted some stunning work (here) on Nicole, a woman I met from Brazil when passing through Battery Park. She and her sister Stephanie were standing in line for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and they both had amazing work.

Stephanie also had some great tattoos, including this half-sleeve, punctuated with cherry blossoms:



Stephanie told me that several artists worked on her sleeve, but she credits Lucas Andrade (@lucasandradetattoo) in São Paulo with making the tattoo how it appears today. Lucas also did her sister's work and really did an amazing job. I love how the color on the blossoms really jumps off the skin. This is such a beautiful half-sleeve!

Many thanks to Stephanie (and Nicole) for sharing their lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 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.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Nicole's Stunning Tattoos

Last summer, while strolling in Battery Park during a lunch break, I met Nicole, from São Paulo, Brazil. She was kind enough to let me take photos of the beautiful tattoo work she has running from her arm up to her neck: 


The black and gray floral work seems to be growing out of a face:



I didn't get much detail from her, but did find out her artist is Lucas Andrade (@lucasandradetattoo) in São Paulo.

Muito obrigado to Nicole for sharing her lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 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, May 8, 2019

Soraya's Amazing Tattoos Honor Her Family History

Last summer, down by the New York Stock Exchange, I met Soraya, who was visiting the city from Porto Allegre, Brazil. She shared some amazing work dedicated to her family, starting with this stunning black and gray portrait of her mother:


The compass is part of the overall theme of her sleeve, honoring her family's rich tradition as explorers. Thus, she has this amazing ship:


And this lighthouse:


As well as this chart and compass rose:


Soraya credited the artist Verani Fontana (@veranifontanatattoo) at Verani Tattoo (@veranitattoo) in Porto Allegre.

Thanks to Soraya for sharing this amazing work with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 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, May 4, 2019

May the 4th Beer With You (Repost)

The following is a repost from late last summer. IT seems appropriate to re-share today.

Last week, on our way back from Washington, D.C., we pulled into the John Fenwick Service Plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike for a quick bathroom break. As we were leaving the building, my wife Melanie exclaimed, "Bill, did you see that guy's tattoo?" She was referring to a gentleman who had just walked in as we were walking out. "Go," she told me, "you have to talk to him!"

And talk to him I did. His name was Bryan and he was happy to share this pure awesomeness:


As someone with a nod to Pabst Blue Ribbon in my own ink, this mash-up of a PBR can and R2-D2 from Star Wars ranks up there as one of my favorite tattoos. It's just plain fun.

Bryan credited an artist named Bryan Merck (@bmerck_ink) who works out of Evolution Tattoo in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Bryan had previously worked at the now-defunct Deep Six Tattoo in Philadelphia.

Bryan also shared this new tattoo he got over the summer:


For those unfamiliar with National Bohemian, that one-eyed chap is "Natty Boh," who graces labels of the regional mid-Atlantic beer.
Thanks to Bryan for sharing his awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2018, 2019 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, April 30, 2019

Wrapping Up National Poetry Month with Josh Medsker (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our last tattooed poet for National Poetry Month, 2019, is Josh Medsker, who sent along this photo:


Josh recounted how this tattoo came to be:
"This tattoo was done at Supernova Tattoo in Astoria, Queens, New York. It’s the logo for Social Distortion, one of my and my wife’s favorite bands. We went to see them at Stubb's in Austin as our first date (the date on the top banner). I got this tattoo for our 5th wedding anniversary in 2009. Leigh got a shamrock with my initials."
Josh also shared this poem:

“Drag”

I.

The Sunday after Starbucks girl’s party
my head is pounding

and my shame complete.

It didn’t work out… let’s just say
whiskey and vomiting was involved

and never speak of it again.

I squint and groan my way down Nueces
to the drag, to Barnes and Noble.

While browsing Poe
Chris, the assistant manager,
tells me I got the job--

Starts tomorrow.

I spend five dollars on a
celebratory Mocha Chip Frappucino

and catch the bus back to Cameron Road
through scary-ass East Austin… where
a dude hovers by the ATM
like the cicadas that are covering it.

I quickly tuck my rent money into my pocket
and get the fuck outta there--

back to my mattress on the floor
and my fire-ant infested cardboard box
that’s acting as my laundry hamper.

II.

My first week at the bookstore
is the first week of my life.

When you smile at me
at the cashwrap

and Hultberg invites us over
after work. 

My clothes still covered
in stray cherry blossoms.

My frame slowly filling out again
after more than a year
of fish and seaweed.

We three debate
punk records over
Lone Stars and steaks,
and I feel myself

weaving into you. 

~ ~ ~

Josh Medsker is a New Jersey poet, originally from Alaska. His work has appeared in many publications, including: The Brooklyn Rail, Haiku Journal, Dissident Voice, and Contemporary American Voices. (www.joshmedsker.com)

Thank to Josh and all of our other contributors this month, who shared their tattoos and poetry this month on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

The list of poets who appeared this April, and in years past, can be found at www.tattooedpoets.com.



This entry is ©2019 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.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Daniela Olszewska and Emily's Hatbox (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Daniela Olszewska, who sent the following photo of one of her tattoos:


Daniela related the story behind getting this, her first tattoo:
The first tattoo I ever got was a hatbox with the words 'As Syllable from Sound--' written on a ribbon wrapped around the box.
This tattoo happened in or near Amherst, Massachusetts about ten years ago. I don’t remember the name of the shop or the woman who gave me the tattoo, but she said something afterwards about that being her first week on the job.

The words are the last line of my favorite poem by my favorite poet (strikethrough text) writer, Emily Dickinson.

My school had given me a small travel grant to fly from Alabama to spend a couple of days in Amherst visiting the Dickinson museum and the libraries housing archives related to her life and work.

I remember that I saw Emily Dickinson’s hatbox in the museum, but I was not allowed to take a photo of it unless I applied for official permission from someone. I was told that I could sketch the hatbox. I am not good at drawing.

In my small travel grant proposal, I proposed using the research I gathered during this trip to write a play about visiting Amherst in the 21st century. I believe I used the term 'queering of the ghost story' in the proposal.

I remember that I wanted to buy a beer to take back to my hotel after I got the tattoo, but the liquor store owner wouldn’t except my (real, legitimate) ID. He pulled out this big book of what each state’s ID is supposed to look like to prove to me that my ID was a fake. In his defense the Alabama ID in his book was different from my Alabama ID, but I had received my Alabama ID from the (real, legitimate) Alabama government, and no one else ever questioned it, so I think it was probably an issue with his book.

The text on the tattoo ribbon is difficult to read (if your tattoo artist says your tattoo needs to be bigger, you should listen to her…).
This tattoo is on my upper back. I do not spend a lot of time looking at it. In summer, if I am wearing a sundress, strangers in the checkout line at Target or on the El will sometimes ask me what my tattoo says and I get taken aback.

I love my tattoo and the poem it comes from and Emily Dickinson. However, I don’t always feel like getting into the whole poem and Dickinson’s views on the nature of god and my views on the nature of god, so I sometimes just tell the strangers that my tattoo is a Bible verse or a memorial tattoo.
Daniela also sent the following poem:

C. Title: FOUR MACHINES


PRAXIS MACHINE


Actually, well, a man helpfully
pried my fists open and explained

that The Department of Defense
had no use for these.

A set of tulips kept in a tower.

Rendered in Indianapolis,
I apologized internally.
I apologized infernally.

There is no ethical gender presentation under capitalism.

It’s tax season again.
Index, so death-math.
Tone is important.
How the brain interprets
                sounds signals shrillness, signals.



ACADEMY MACHINE


I don’t want to give the impression that I’m completely
anti-PhD. It’s just that I am suspicious of some

literary movements where the explanation
can be accused of being more interesting

than the writing itself.
            Interesting is a matter
of individual perspective, though.

Also, individual mood,
energy, economics, mercury.

This is an oversimplification.


I am thinking of jazz.
We’re on Easter Break. Thank God for Jesus.



MEDICATION MACHINE

I am heightened.
It is friendly.

Peddle this lemon.

    Indirectly, a perjure.

    Binge watche my twenties and thirties away.

Thicket. Cover.  
Okay, I’m ready.

What’s a symptom and what’s a mood.
Okay, I’m ready.

Please call instead of knocking.  


…………………………….


APPLICATION MACHINE


Skip Intro.

Blue tail.

Laced birds.

Windower.

Red charger.

Of weekend.

Linen for delivery.

War Hair.

Court lonely.

Droplet. Dropet.

Exclamation tarot.

Reply all.

Spring fire and spirits.

Broken tower.

Love Statue.  

With fault.

~ ~ ~

Daniela Olszewska is the author of several books of poetry and short prose. Her physical self lives in Chicago, and her website lives at http://www.danielaolszewska.com.

Thanks to Daniela for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!







This entry is ©2019 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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Adam Tedesco's Skulls (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Adam Tedesco, who shared these, "two of the many tattoos of skulls" that he has:



Adam elaborates:
The top image, on my left calf, is by Chad Koeplinger (@chadkoeplingertattoo). He tattooed me while doing a guest spot at Smith Street (@smithstreettattooparlour) in Brooklyn about five years ago. I was waiting outside the shop when they opened and still had to wait about 6 hours for him to get to me. I guess getting this tattoo was really important to me at the time, even though I had no image or design picked out. I had been a fan of Chad's work for a few years at that point and felt comfortable with him tattooing whatever he thought would look best in the spot I had picked out. When he asked what I wanted I just said 'I dunno, man. Something mystical?', to which he offered 'How about a skull with crystals and an eyeball.' 'Yup, that sounds mystical as fuck,' I replied.
Chad's a monster, in a good way. I'm a big guy, it's a big tattoo, and he finished in about 45 minutes. The knee ditch kills, which is good. Tattoos are supposed to hurt.
The bottom image, on the front of my right thigh, is by Nathan Kostechko (@nathan_kostechko). I got this when he was doing a guest spot at Thicker Than Water on the Lower East Side. I don't think that shop exists anymore. [Ed. Note - Three Kings Tattoo now occupies the space] I had some correspondence with Nathan before the appointment about the tattoo, which we came to agree is a skull exhaling DMT smoke. He told me he listened to Tool and smoked DMT to help him come up with the design, which I told him reminded me of the Spacemen 3 record Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To. While I've been sober going on two years now, at the time this was a pretty good distillation of my lifestyle.
Adam sent us the following poem, as featured in his new collection Mary Oliver, available from Lithic Press, and originally published in MadHat Lit, which is now a Russian poker website.


AT THE MOUTH OF THE CAVE

He got all messed up on the lord then brought me fishing

The best thing about people is they’re all pieces of shit
The worst thing in the world to be is a person because
people don’t realize a piece of shit is the perfect thing to be


I closed my eyes and saw six billion soft serve heads melting under an infinity of ingrown neurons
a pile of dead leaves expanding at the edge of orbit dead leaves whose life’s blood now
fills the punchbowl

Us pieces of shit, we’re magic
We turn everything we touch to shit 
Ain’t nothing better than that

We carried our rods and empties back to the van.
I watched the waterfall disappear between
the back window’s louvers and remembered a dream
I inherited from my next door neighbor, where every
surface is too soft, and every step dents the ground and
if you get caught leaving footprints they take you away to jail 



~ ~ ~

Born in Upstate New York, Poet and video artist Adam Tedesco is a founding editor of REALITY BEACH, a journal of new poetics. His video work has been screened at MoMA PS1, &Now: A Festival of Innovative Writing, No Nation Gallery, and the New Hampshire Poetry Festival, among other venues. His poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Fanzine, Fence, Gramma, jubilat, Laurel Review, Powder Keg, Prelude, and elsewhere. He is the author of several chapbooks, most recently ABLAZA (Lithic Press, 2017), ISO 8601:2004 (Really Serious Literature, 2018), and Misrule (Ursus Americanus, 2019). His first full-length poetry collection, Mary Oliver, was published by Lithic Press in February of 2019.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Michael McInnis on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's tattooed poet, on this last Saturday in April, is Michael McInnis. Michael sent the following picture:


Michael tells us:
"I spent 6 years in the Navy, but never got a tattoo until after I got out. For the necklace, I was inspired by the Mel Gibson/Anthony Hopkins version of Mutiny on the Bounty, and because a shipmate had been killed by a great white while we were in Diego Garcia (see the prose poem below). What better way to honor that by wearing shark's teeth as a talisman and spirit animal.
It was done by Bryn Taylor (@taylormadetattoo) in the back room of my old bookstore when tattooing was still illegal in Massachusetts. Bryn eventually moved to California, worked for Lyle Tuttle, and then opened his own shop in the Bay Area, Taylor Made Tattoo."

Travelogue of Diego Garcia

1

The Indian Ocean off Diego Garcia swallowed a shipmate. The coral glowed pink and yellow and came rushing up at him as he thrashed to reach the surface. So, this is it then. No more midwatches on a ship at sea. No more evenings back home, the smell of butane and beef raked through the air. Sharks told the sailor their secrets as the sea spread summer clouds of blood.

2

We got high and bet on coconut crabs sprinting across crushed coral roads. There was time enough for sonar and ships. I heard, someone said, that Great Whites won’t bite you when you’re drunk.

~ ~ ~

Michael McInnis served six years in the Navy chasing white whales and Soviet submarines. He founded The Primal Plunge, Boston’s original bookstore dedicated to ‘zines and underground culture. He is the author of two short collections, Hitchhiking Beatitudes, and Smokey of the Migraines, both published by Nixes Mate Books. His third book, Secret Histories, is forthcoming from Červená Barva Press.

Thanks to Michael for sharing his tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!



This entry is ©2019 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, April 26, 2019

Sarah Nichols, the Peacock and the Cobra (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Today's tattooed poet is Sarah Nichols, who shared this cobra-peacock mashup:


Sarah tells us:
"This is my first tattoo. I had it done in February, 2017, right before my 43 rd
birthday; I had wanted one for a long time, but it always seemed like the time or the money wasn’t right. It was done at Witchhouse Tattoo (@witchhousetattoo) in Hartford, Connecticut, by Courtney (@czar_baebatron) , the shop’s owner. The tattoo is a cobra with a peacock’s head, and it is after the work of artist James Prosek (@jamesprosek), specifically a drawing entitled The Peacock and The Cobra. For me, both animals are elegant and fierce; as a hybrid creature, it is beautiful and strange, and that comes across in the tattoo."
Sarah also shared the following poem, which is from her chapbook of Sylvia Plath/C.D. Wright centos, She May Be a Saint, which was published in 2016.

Other Bodies

In my flammable skin,
I grow shadows.

Blood, substanceless.
An arm
a face
birthmarks.

A box of poison
too pure for longings.

A body,
flickering.

My new instrument.

~ ~ ~

[Sources: C.D. Wright: “Girl Friend,” “Autographs,” “Because Fulfilment Awaits,” and “And it Came to Pass.” Sylvia Plath: “Ariel,” “Death and Co.,” and “Fever 103.”]

~ ~ ~

Sarah Nichols lives and writes in Connecticut. She is the author of seven chapbooks, including This is Not a Redemption Story (dancing girl press), Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press) and Little Sister (Grey Book Press.) Her poems and essays can also be found in Glass: a Journal of Poetry, Memoir Mixtapes, Rogue Agent, and Dream Pop.

You can read more of her work by clicking through the following links:
https://www.dreampoppress.net/sarah-nichols/
http://www.glass-poetry.com/poets-resist/nichols-narcan.html
http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/blog/poetry-by-sarah-nichols

Thanks to Sarah for sharing her cool tattoo and lovely poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!

This entry is ©2019 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.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Four Tattoos from Halee Kirkwood (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next tattooed poet is Halee Kirkwood, who sent us a quartet of tattoos to admire, including this one:


Halee credits this to Lana Bosak (@lanalikescats) at Tailorbird Tattoo (@tailorbirdtattoo), one of many amazing Minneapolis tattoo parlors. She notes:
"I was drawn to this raven on an antler as a poet who writes a lot about death, grief, and scavenging. Ravens are incredibly intelligent birds with the ability to adapt and problem-solve to an astounding capacity. Even when it seems that a thing has rotten, there might be nourishment to be found there. I try to embody the strength and cleverness of the raven every day."
They also sent this cool cat tattoo:


Halee tells us:
"This little kitty was a flash tattoo I snatched up in the summer of 2018. I was feeling frustrated with cars in the Twin Cities - I am an avid city biker and have had more than my fair share of cars driving dangerously and close to me when I'm in a bike lane, and felt a kinship with the feral attitude of the design. I was also amused by the fact that the tattoo had tattoos itself, and one of them was a dagger close in resemblance to the two swords I have on my bicep [below]. When I ride my bike on the busy downtown streets, I look at this kitty and think of braveness, the ferocity sometimes needed to survive, and then I get to where I'm going."
They also sent along this floral piece:


Halee notes:
This tattoo was also a flash - I am a very spontaneous person, both in tattoo habits and in my poetry practice. I like to grow into the meaning of a tattoo, and think about what a flash design means to me over time after that initial and immediate attraction. Something I feel a little shame about is that I don't know what kind of flowers these actually are - neither does the tattoo artist, as she designs a lot of her tattoos from vintage botany books, but I am beginning not to mind. I have found it fun to ask people who ask about the flowers what they think they are, and a conversation rolls from there! When I look at the flowers now, I think of the trio of myself, my little sister, and my little brother, and think of all the ways we have bloomed from the rocky soil we were given to grow out of.
Thank you to Andy Jacobs (@buffaloalicetattoo) and Minneapolis Tattoo (@mplstattoo) for the sweet floral!
And last, but not least, is the aforementioned swords tattoo:


Halee tells us:
These swords were my first tattoo, and coincidentally the only tattoo I have that isn't a flash piece! This is an adaptation of the Two of Swords tarot card, which I drew at a critical juncture in my life. I was faced with two choices - continue to live and write in the small town of Ashland, WI, which I love and pine after often, or move to the Twin Cities and pursue an MFA in creative writing. Both options seemed to have an equal amount of pros and cons, and I had to make a decision quickly. The Two of Swords asks the querent to break the binds which hold them to their swords, go with their intuition, and make a hard break. Make that damn decision. So I decided to move from small town Wisconsin and into the big city, where I still am today and am on the cusp of finishing my graduate degree. My swords are a reminder that sometimes you just have to make a decision, no matter how equal some choices might seem.
Thank you to Skin Candy Tattoo in Racine, WI for the ink!

In addition to the tattoos, Halee also shared the following poem:

Hennepin Moon

Caught between light rail crosshairs moon

Wearing earrings for the first time in ten years moon

Woolen skirt city moon

Split button moon

Cold ass on the concrete moon

Tobacco emporium moon

There’s no more snow in Minneapolis moon
for my favorite moon hard crust on the snow moon

Sore throat moon

Expensive dog with cheap sweater moon

Do people ignore me because they hear me
whisper to myself whisper to myself moon

Spit at my feet moon

Razor blade bridge walk over river moon

Indigo night steam lilting over carp moon

Give it all back moon

Follow you forever moon

~ ~ ~

Halee Kirkwood is a descendant of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and nearly has their MFA degree from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in Up The Staircase Quarterly, Muzzle Magazine, ctrl+vPinwheel Journal, Cream City Review, and others. Kirkwood was the associate editor of Runestone Journal, is a writing mentor for the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, and was a teaching fellow for the 2019 Desert Nights, Rising Stars writing conference at Arizona State University. Their mini-chapbook, Exorcising The Catalogue, is available from Rinky Dink Press.

Thanks to Halee for sharing their tattoos and poetry with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2019 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.