Friday, February 10, 2012

Literary tattoos

I don't have any tattoos. Yet.

I've seen quite a lot of bad tattoos. Quite a lot of good ones. I like looking online at various pages listing them. I don't want a tattoo that somebody else has. I want a tattoo for me, that's mine. I haven't settled on a design yet that I love for long enough to actually go through with it.

Then, I saw a post on Neil Gaiman's blog: literary tattoos. Is there a reason I hadn't thought of this before? I hadn't seen one before, anyway. So, duh. Of course getting a quote would make fantastic sense. Of course, now the problem is what quote? is (or rather, was...they haven't updated in a year or more) a blog of literary tattoos. It's cool to see the ink people have gotten, and the quotes people have gotten. It's amazing how many Kurt Vonnegut "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt" tattoos you'll see, with web search. How many The Giving Tree tattoos. The Lorax. Shakespeare, of course, and while I dearly love the Bard, none of his words are my words.

In The Order of Things I talked about my poetry preferences, citing Adrienne Rich specifically. A poem of hers, Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law, has great imagery and a few really good lines in it, notably, "A thinking woman sleeps with monsters".  I'd just heard of a website,, where you can create a fake tattoo (or multiples), and decided I'd try it out.

In the end, forearm is not the place for that tattoo for me. But, I still really like the quote.

Really, anything from Ginsberg's "Howl" would be lovely; also, too long. Just "Howl" from the cover of the collection wouldn't be bad, but a single word is too easily misconstrued. I don't want it to be looked at as though I'm wearing a wolf t-shirt, after all.

Maybe one day, when I have something published, I'll pick a phrase or word from that, so that it is mine. But for now, I'm still looking. Or, still rowing, if I want to quote Anne Sexton, and frequently I do.

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