Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crows--tattoo story #1

A bit back, a lovely reader of this here blog asked for some pictures of my tattoos. I will now fulfill the request.

I will start with the one tat that I never really get to see.
The photos below were taken by my lovely kk right after I was inked about exactly 3 years ago.

I like the lighting of the photos. The text is from a poem about crows by Mary Oliver. She is my favorite poet. I stamped out the lines with these old letter stamps that I scored from the art slide library I worked at during undergrad and then my tattoo artist drew it all out on my back. I happen to love crows; the words have multiple meanings for me and they are placed across the deep muscles of my back. there is something about words on skin--permanently cut into flesh--that makes me think of all that is bigger than little, animal me.

Mary Oliver

From a single grain they have multiplied.
When you look in the eyes of one
you have seen them all.

At the edges of highways
they pick up limp things.
They are anything but refined.

Or they fly out over the the corn
like pellets of black fire,
like overloads.

Crow is crow, you say.
What else is there to say?
Drive down any road,

take a train or an airplane
across the world, leave
your old life behind,

die and be born again--
wherever you arrive
they'll be there first,

glossy and rowdy
and indistinguishable.
The deep muscle of the world.