Jeff, a tattooed poet from Oklahoma tells us:
I started reading Horace in grad school and soon grew to be a fan of the odes. The quote, pulvis et umbra sumus—taken from the ode to Torquatus—is commonly translated as, “We are dust and shadows,” but I prefer David Ferry’s version: “we’re nothing but dust, we’re nothing but shadows.” The line offers such a blunt beauty to our mortality, I thought it would serve as a good defense against procrastination, etc. The tattoo was done by David Bruehl at Think Ink Tattoos in Norman, OK. David is an incredible artist. I basically gave him the quote, said I dig skulls, and he nailed the design on the first sketch. This was my first tattoo (I was a late bloomer), and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I’ve already booked another session to start working on a sleeve.Head over to BillyBlog and read one of Jeff's poems here.
Born and raised in southwest Oklahoma, Jeff Simpson received his MFA from Oklahoma State University in 2009. He is the founder and managing editor of The Fiddleback, an online arts & literature journal that will launch its first issue later this year. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, Harpur Palate, The Pinch, and H_NGM_N. His first full-length collection, Vertical Hold, will be published by Steel Toe Books in 2011.