illusions

This tattoo belongs to Lena, who also has a coffee spoon tattoo from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

I’ve always been drawn to Sherman Alexie’s prose, and after reading “Jesus Christ’s Half-brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation” (from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven), one line just resonated with me over and over. I love both the strength of women and music (the optical illusion is both a woman’s silhouette, and a musician playing a saxophone), but even more so, I love the words that flow around it. Being half white and half Navajo, I’ve always felt as though I was walking a fine line; in Arizona, I was too white to be Indian, and in Pennsylvania, I was too Indian to be white. I’ve existed in a liminal space for so long, that I often feel like an illusion myself, and see this tattoo as embracing the in betweens that make us individual, while I also acknowledge that privilege does exist, and half the time I am permitted that luxury.

Literary Tattoos: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Sherman Alexie Jesus Christs Half brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation Illustrations

Been sober so long it’s like a dream but I feel better somehow and Auntie was so proud of me she took James and me into the city for James’s checkup and James still wasn’t talking but Auntie and James and I ate a great lunch at Woolworth’s before we headed back to the reservation. I got to drive and Auntie’s uranium money Cadillac is a hell of a car and it was raining a little and hot so there were rainbows rainbows rain, bows and the pine trees looked like wise men with wet beards or at least I thought they did. That’s how I do this life sometimes by making the ordinary just like magic and just like a card trick and just like a mirror and just like the disappearing. Every Indian learns how to be a magician and learns how to misdirect attention and the dark hand is always quicker than the white eye and no matter how close you get to my heart you will never find out my secrets and I’ll never tell you and I’ll never show you the same trick twice.
I’m traveling heavy with illusions.

- “Jesus Christ’s Half-brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation” (from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven) by Sherman Alexie

mischief managed

Literary Tattoos: J.K. Rowling Harry Potter

This tattoo belongs to RoxyOlson.

Tattoo is from Harry Potter, in particular the 3rd book – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Yes, I’m a huge fan of the HP books, but this tattoo on my left shoulder reminds me of the (sometimes) harmless mischief that I often find myself in. It’s meant to be light-hearted, fun and cute. A little mischief never hurt anyone, right?

Tattoo done by R. Lannan at Barron Tattoo in Calgary, AB Canada. Font is Kathleen.

miles to go before I sleep

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

This tattoo belongs to MareJBear.

My submission is from Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It is on my left foot. It is in his original handwriting as he has an autographed book. I got it because I am in love with the last verse of the poem:

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

To me it is motivational as is beautiful and the placement has significance has well.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

The Riddle of Strider

Literary Tattoos: The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien Elvish All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

This tattoo belongs to Patrick Kern.

This tattoo is taken from the first two lines of J.R.R Tolkien’s poem “The Riddle of Strider“. The lines are in Sindarin Tengwar, and they read “All that is gold does not glitter; Not all who wander are lost“. The poem describes the character of Aragorn, and his rise from an unknown Dunedein Ranger of the north, to the High King of Gondor (Thus, the crowned White Tree of Gondor in the center.)

So it Goes #84, 85, 86

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This belongs to Aimee.

I worry about everything and anything. I’m pretty much a ball of stress and I keep all of it in my shoulders. I’ve always like the expression/book and one day I found myself thinking it when I was overwhelmed. Now I have a reminder to take a deep breath and accept that some things are just going to happen.

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This belongs to Cassandra.

My reason for getting it is that I feel it is always important to remember that life is transient, both the good and the bad. Vonnegut keeps me humble and looking forward.

It was done by Westside Tattoo in Brisbane, Australia.

Literary Tattoos: Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut So it goes.

This belongs to Alexa.

The reason behind this tattoo was simply to remind myself that no matter what happens in life, we learn something from it and then we move on. Getting stuck in time does us no good.

This was posted as a part of “So it Goes” Saturdays. The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 106 times. Can you help me collect 106 “so it goes” tattoos? 86 down, 20 to go.

Always

Literary Tattoos: J.K. Rowling Harry Potter

This belongs to Tazhiana.

This is my Harry Potter tattoo and I’m sure it’s a pretty popular one but the Harry Potter series literally saved my life. The magic in that story was enough to get me through a really tough time, and even now that I am in a much better state of mind, I am proud to call Hogwarts home. Someone asked me the other day if I was still a serious fan and my response was “Always”. That’s when I knew that this would be my next tattoo. It’s a badge of honor, to remind me of a rough patch of life that I got through and that there still is magic in the world waiting for us to find it.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

This belongs to Kristina Keefe.

My tattoo is Robert frost’s last stanza in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

I got this shortly after my grandmother suddenly died when I was a teen. She had written it to me in her last letter, telling me to read more & that this poem was her favorite.
The font is her actual handwriting, taken from the letter and copied onto my skin. The concept is the roots of the tree reach thru her journey to the faith. The top of the sleeve is still under construction.

Artist: Kenneth “tat” Bryan of Intimate Body Art Studies in Glenside, PA.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening