Friday, July 17, 2015

Three Cool Tattoos from Andrea Laws, Tattooed Poet of the Week

Here at Tattoosday, we love to publish poems and tattoos from established poets, but we also like to recognize the work of up-and-coming writers from time to  time. It also helps when they have great tattoos.

Andrea Laws is one such poet. What she may be lacking in publication credits is more than compensated by her cool work, which is literary in and of itself.

Behold the first tattoo:

Andrea calls this her "Virginia Woolf Meets TOOL" tattoo, and credits Lance Tuck, at Skin Illustrations in Overland Park, Kansas.

She elaborates:
"[It's a] Virginia Woolf excerpt from her essay, A Street Haunting: A London Adventure, on my upper left arm.  The quote is, 'The shell-like covering, which our souls have excreted a shape distinct from others is broken and there is left of all these wrinkles and roughnesses a central oyster of perceptiveness, an enormous eye. The traveler's secrets of her soul have been revealed.'  
The eye is based off the work of Alex Grey for the band TOOL, which is to represent my third eye opening.  I thought that this quote was an excellent portrayal of how much my soul grew from living in London for six months.  It was the scariest most amazing time of my life and I never wanted to forget what I accomplished there for myself, and that is why I got the tattoo."
Next is this piece on her back:

Andrea explains that this is an excerpt from Jim Morrison's "An American Prayer." It was also inked by Lance Tuck, but when he was at Big Daddy Cadillac's in Lawrence, Kansas.

Andrea explains:

"...Ever since the first time I heard The Doors, I immediately became a fan, and still to this day, they are my favorite band.  After listening to the music, I wanted to explore further into the writing of The Doors and picked up a book of poetry by Jim Morrison.  Most women fell in love with his looks, I fell in love with his writing.  The picture I'm submitting was taken at Jim Morrison's grave in Paris, which was always my dream after getting the tattoo.  The tattoo quote is the following:
Do you know the warm progress                                under the stars?Do you know we exist?Have you forgotten the keys           to the Kingdom?Have you been borne yet                                   & are you alive?Let's reinvent the gods, all the myths                                                   of the agesCelebrate symbols from deep elder forests[Have you forgotten the lessons                                               of ancient war]"
As a fan of the Doors, and Jim Morrison as well, I appreciate this tattoo immensely.

Finally, she shared this piece:

This amazing Edgar Allan Poe portrait, on Andrea's right forearm, was done by Sean Harty, another artist at Skin Illustrations.

Andrea tells us:
"Poe was one of the first major poets that was introduced to me when I was 10-years-old by my late Grandmother.  I fell in love with his work and have always been inspired by his tales of darkness and mystery.  The quote around Edgar is a dedication that I wrote for him, 'Forevermore, nevermore.  The dark prince who gave birth to the black sheets over my eyes.'  Eventually, I will be getting Mary Shelley's portrait on my left forearm, so they will become my locket of writers who inspired me to write."
Andrea also sent us the following poem, "Flies and Spiders":

Flies and Spiders

threaded fingertips attach to souls
eating wings bent by crowing
consciousness in empty bowls
excusing pain for a world knowing

prey dribbles down separated cheeks
rules of nature feeds without honor
innocent fuel injected into freaks
defined by dark smiles of conquer

memories disobey fantasies
Christ figures freeing the will to kill
bearing bouquets of drab families
tied with bloody strings for the ill

third eyes plucked for a strange beginning
tyrannical and villainous beliefs
Big Brother always in the winning
preaching censored versions of real thieves

codes now trapped in mirrors of weakness
creeping wanderers behind dire doors
melody sounds and timbre bleakness
arranging new constellation stores

suspend the iron cauldrons watching
past times upon and past times ago
loud failure claiming perfect timing
as darkness dances we needn't grow

~ ~ ~

Andrea adds a little explanation to this work:
"I've been working on this poem for a few years now, and believe I finally have it in its final draft. I think it best represents my fear and discouragement of a non-free world intertwined with dark images. I was obviously reading V for Vendetta and listening to a lot of Bill Hicks stand-up comedy when I started writing this poem."
Andrea Laws currently works as a Documentation Specialist at the KU Endowment, writing policies and procedures for the Gift Processing and Information Services Departments. She graduated from KU, in 2008, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre & Film. After college, she moved to Great Britain on a six-month work visa, and lived and worked in London, from September, 2008 - February, 2009. She has been writing poetry since she can remember and frequently updates her blog with new work at

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