Friday, May 22, 2015

Paulette Beete's Butterfly (The Tattooed Poets Project)

Our next Tattooed Poet of the Week is Paulette Beete, who sent us this photo:


Paulette tells us:
"The image is of my 3rd tattoo, which was inked in June 2011. My sister also has a few tattoos and we decided to get the same tattoo to celebrate the fact that, after a lot of work, we'd become best friends. We both liked the idea of a butterfly because it represents a specific type of change. When caterpillars become butterflies, they become who they were meant to be all along, which was a great metaphor for our journeys of growing into ourselves. We worked with Bill at Ambrotos Tattoo in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. We liked this butterfly because it didn't look too girly like so many butterfly tattoos do. My sister didn't like the stars so Bill made a couple of sketches that replaced the stars with ribbons. Ultimately I kept the stars because they felt quirky like me. My sister's much more elegant than I so the version with the ribbons fit her perfectly."
Paulette sent us the following poem, "The Makers of Memorials," which was previously published in Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She noted, "I believe that the best tattoos are memorials of a sort; stories that we carry on the outside as well as the inside."

The Makers of Memorials

They sing. They sing blue songs
their mothers wore.
They sing grief, bone-thick & left-handed.
They sing songs cross oceans, cross sidewalks.
They sing skies sealed shut.
They sing men born wearing walking shoes.
They sing women born palms up.
They sing from mouths without lipstick,
charts without notes, pianos without tunes.
They sing back-door songs & apron-
tied-low songs. They sing.
Unmaking the made into something less
teeth-breaking. They sing
dead crops, dead gods, men
put down, men put out,
dreams put off. Off key, off beat, they sing.
Steady. Loud. Relentless. They sing
instead of, in spite of, next door to. They sing
in clinics, in bedrooms, on corners. They sing.
Women in blue & purple, in thorn tiaras braided
from agains & nevermores & never minds.
Songs of children lost, of savings lost,
pawn tickets lost.
They sing. They sing. They sing
blue songs of our mothers,
holier-songs of our blue mothers.
They sing the slow leak that will drown
the world. They call God home
for the re-making.

~ ~ ~

Paulette Beete's poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in magazines including Crab Orchard Review, Escape into Life, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Gargoyle, and The Found Poetry Review. Her chapbooks include Blues for a Pretty Girl (Finishing Line Press) and Voice Lessons (Plan B Press). Her work also appears in several anthologies, including Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC. She blogs (occasionally) at thehomebeete.com.


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


This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another web site 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 21, 2015

Ryan's Tattoos Represent the Duality of Human Existence

A couple weeks back on Broad Street, I ran into Ryan, who had two tattoos on either side of his calf.

I first noticed the back of the leg, which featured this image:


In explaining the tattoos he designed, Ryan, a chef, specified that "the mosquito represents the parasitic nature of man’s ego." He elaborated, "yup, sucking on, y’know the host, the earth."

Then there's this design on the front of the calf:


Ryan told me, "...on the front, a lotus flower, coming out of the earth with the sun rising, the hopeful sun rising future, the lotus flower representing the man’s spiritual potential." He added that "the front and back are the dualities of what we fight with."

He also shared this piece on his arm, noting that the kanji on the wrist was done first, and the rest of the tattoo was built around it:


Ryan explained:
"This was inspired by my favorite author’s book, JosephCampbell’s A Hero with a Thousand Faces and …it [the kanji] just says hero and then the reflection of it in the water, the faceless monk… it’s a representation of that book."
Ryan couldn't remember the exact name of the shop or the artist, so the work will have to remain uncredited, for the moment.

Thanks to Ryan for sharing his cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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 20, 2015

Naomi's Mandala, Plus Two More

Last week I was picking up a pie from Nino's, one of the better pizza places in my neighborhood, when I met Naomi, who was standing, waiting for her order. She shared this lovely mandala tattoo on the back of her neck:

Naomi later emailed me the details, and included a couple of extra photos of some of her other work. She explained:
"The woman who tattooed me is Sarah Herzdame from Germany and is currently tattooing in Berlin [at Erntezeit Tätowierungen]. She should be out here again in August at Gristle Tattoo [in Williamsburg, Brooklyn]. Her Instagram is @tilldthtattoo. Her email is on there too.
I've gotten two other tattoos at Gristle Tattoo. One by a man named Felix and the other by a woman named Anka. Felix's Instagram is @felixvayner and Anka's is @ankalavrivtattoo

Felix did the leaves, Anka did the cat. I got both of those on their Friday the 13th event and they were both $31. They had different sized tattoos for $13, $31 or $130 and had their local artists doing tattoos and a guest artist in as well from I believe Japan."
Thanks to Naomi for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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 19, 2015

Emma's Tattoo for Her Faith

Yesterday afternoon, while walking to the subway through Bowling Green park, I met a couple of Korean tourists after they stopped to ask me if the National Museum of the American Indian was closed (it was).
I noticed that one of the women, Emma, had a tattoo on her thigh and I asked if I could take a photo for Tattoosday. She consented:


She told me "I got it for Jesus ... because I am a Christian."

It's a pretty cool variation on the standard Jesus with the crown of thorns, in black and grey, with a rose added at the bottom.

She got this at Wild Rose Tattoo in Seoul, Korea.

Thanks to Emma for sharing her tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Laura and Her Heart that Doesn't Stop Beating

Sometimes tattoos can be powerful in the simplicity of their design. For example, my friend Laura recently got this new tattoo:


Laura explains how this tattoo on her wrist is a poignant memorial:
"On a day where I would typically be celebrating my mom’s life [May 18], this year I am remembering her death. My mom passed away on November 13, 2014.

The days leading up to her death was filled with constant noise. There were heart rate monitors and breathing monitors and the IV drips. I remember constantly staring at the heart rate monitor scared that it would go flat. When I walked into the room after she died, there was peace.

So not only does my tattoo mean 'love never dies.' it’s also a reminder that there is no more suffering, she is at peace."
Laura got this done at Studio Enigma in Brooklyn, by Adriano.

Thanks to Laura for sharing this very personal tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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 16, 2015

Chris and His Tattoo Draw on Mental Alchemy

Last week on Wall Street, I met Chris, who was visiting the U.S. from the Netherlands. He had an interesting-looking tribal tattoo on his left arm:


He credited the work to an artist named Jeff at Stillwaters Tattoo in Tilburg, in the Netherlands.

He told me it was based on his own sketch, and said that "he redesigned my own sketch ... it's something he just drew ...mine was way too detailed and he made it simpler, a little bit rougher than it was."

When I asked if it had any specific meaning, he elaborated:
"It's kinda dangerous to show this in public, actually, because it's all about the triangle here at the top...
It's a square in the middle and the circle, it could remind someone of the Illuminati, some people actually thought it was, but it's actually from Mental Alchemy and it means finding love in everything and everyone. It actually comes from this program that was made in the US, this guy, he was just walking past someone in Islamic clothing ...and he had a problem with his car and he stopped and he helped him for a couple of hours and he said, 'Well, I believe in Mental Alchemy and that basically resembles a triangle with a square in the middle, a circle that touches everything' ... mental alchemy... finding love in everything and everyone."
Thanks to Chris for sharing his cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.


If you are reading this on another web site 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 15, 2015

All Of Her Tattoos Have Wings - heather hughes is Our Tattooed Poet of the Week

Our next Tattooed Poet of the Week is heather hughes. She is sharing this tattoo:


heather tells us:
"I have four tattoos (at the moment), and of course I chose one that's difficult to photograph to send: a dragon silhouette on my left ribcage. The ink was done at Chameleon in Cambridge, MA, and I went there with 3 other poet friends who were also getting work. The art is based on drawings by Wayne Anderson that are featured in Peter Dickinson's book THE FLIGHT OF DRAGONS
I developed an obsession with fantasy, and dragons in particular, largely because of an 80s Rankin & Bass animated adaptation (which I still deeply love). When I went into the tattoo shop, I thought I was going to get this design much smaller, and on my left forearm. Instead, I walked out with a dragon next to my heart. I was coming out of a fragile headspace and had only recently recommitted myself to making art. My dragon reminds me that I can be fierce, that I can protect what matters most, that I can continue to believe in what seems impossible. He's found his way into a poem. And I expect that someday I will have another dragon tattoo to keep him company."
heather sent us the following poem:

Specter: Last Words

                                   

                                                Hollow      out
                                                              :               

                                                            spine

                                                                        and      binding
                                                                           —  open  —


                                                            thousandstarred spark                               




                        I           dream            your    funeral            speech

you      stammer         at         my       ghost

            leaving                        these   pages  to soak                        on    the   porch.


~ ~ ~

heather hughes hangs her heart in Boston and Miami. All of her tattoos have wings. Her poems have appeared in Bad Penny Review, Cream City Review, Grain, Hinchas de Poesía, and Prick of theSpindle, among others. She posts NaPoWriMo & letterpress experiments at dragonheartbeat.tumblr.com and can also be visited virtually at birdmaddgirl.com or @birdmaddgirl on twitter. 

Thanks to heather for contributing to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

If you are reading this on another web site 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.