Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Literary Tattoos

Some people have a favorite quote from a book or a poem, something they might say to themselves every now and then, something that speaks to their experience. I know people who carry quotes around in their wallets or write the same quote on the first page of every notebook they buy, an exhortation to get moving, keep striving, etc.

These people took it one step further and got those quotes tattooed onto their bodies. Personally, I could never commit to having a tattoo of any kind -- I just can't commit. Like I'd get a tattoo that said something like "It's true there are moments--foolish moments, ecstasy on a tree stump--when I'm all but gone, scattered I like to think like seed, for I'm the sort now in the fool's position of having love left over which I'd like to lose; what good is it now to me, candy ungiven after Halloween?" then wake up ten year's later and say, "Aw, William H. Gass? He sucks!"

But what about you? If you had to have a literary quote tattooed on your body, what would it be? (Bonus points for telling us where you'd get it. Super bonus points and my unending awe if you actually have a quote on your body.)

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At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Edan said...

"Blackberry, blackberry, blackberry" -Robert Hass

On my left butt cheek.

At 4:21 PM, OpenID julieklam said...

I'd get Ulysses all over my body because then I'd finally read it. I guess they'd have to do it in a small font like Times New Roman in like 8 pt. to get the whole book. I'd keep it off my private areas, though, or else I wouldn't be able to read it on the subway.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Patrick said...


Why the left?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Patrick said...


Your comment reminds me of the Stephen Wright routine where he talks about getting a tattoo that covers his whole body of himself, only taller.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Edan said...

Oh, because I believe I have less cellulite on the left side of my body (or is it my right?--you can check for that tonight, Patrick).

Julie, I would show my poem line to anyone who asked, even on the subway! I have no shame!

At 5:10 AM, OpenID julieklam said...

You're lucky, Edan. I'm filled with shame.
Patrick, I remember that bit. What happened to Stephen Wright?

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

I think after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, Stephen Wright snapped out of the near-catatonic state he'd been in his whole life. Consequently, it ruined his career. Now he just wanders around Boston asking people if they're enjoying the fine weather.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Emma said...

Wasn't it Shelly Jackson who wrote a novel entirely in tattoos? I think people could pick words or just have them assigned. 'Skin,' I believe it was called, strangely enough.


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