Lisa Jane Persky
The Illustrated Man
William Morrow, 1997 (1951). 288 pp.
Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor
The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide
Harper Perennial, October 2010. 192 pp.
Katherine Von Drachenburg
The Tattoo Chronicles
Harper Design, October 2010. 240 pp.
Let me say it right up front: I’ve got a tattoo. I never show it off and if anyone happens to notice, they point and say, “Hey, did you write on yourself?”
I did, in 1970, draw an arrow that got tattooed there in all its spreading bluish glory, on the outside of my right foot, curving around the heel and pointing up toward my head. It couldn’t be less attractive.
A young guy I knew from the street who’d been named after a motorcycle and was “into leather” was about to try home-tattoo as his new career. I agreed to let him “sock it to me.” The idea seemed romantic, and I wanted to see firsthand the actual operation and its accoutrements, to have the adventure I’d been privately mulling. More curious than cautious, I booked the fifth and last appointment of Harley’s first all-tatting day hoping that by then he’d had enough practice.
I was 15. I still knew pretty much everything.
By the endlessly talented Lisa Jane Persky.