So, of course this means that I love Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor for bringing together some of my favorite things, books and words and the body, in The Word Made Flesh, a book called "part collection of photographs and part literary anthology written on skin."
Many of the book's photographs are also featured on the website, tattoolit.com. Find my first tattoo featured in this entry. That's the Audre Lorde quote I wrote about here. I love seeing it shared with the world, so I'll have to submit my other literary tattoo now. And then, well, then I'll just have to get another one to show off.
According to The Word Made Flesh, I'm part of an "emerging subculture of literary tattoos." Is this my generation's way of honoring literature like never before? Or do we lose sight of these words' meanings when we turn them into tramp stamps and over-inked clichés? I must admit, when I look through websites like these I sometimes wonder if for some, this isn't just a silly trend that may soon stray too far from the printed form literature used to take.
Then again, I've never seen anyone else with my literary tattoos, and personally I've found them to be a great way of spreading my love of literature when, for instance, someone who has never heard of Audre Lorde asks why I have words about singing grasses tattooed on my skin.
It has something to do with the crazy idea of freedom, I tell them. And I go on to enlighten them about this woman's words, hoping that they, too, can find strength in them, and knowing that they wouldn't have come across them if they weren't printed on my skin.
And that makes it worth it to me. Bringing important words to people who might not have found them anywhere else. There are lots of great literary tattoos out there. Some are just pretty (and some, not so much). And some are really meaningful. Hopefully, through books like The Word Made Flesh, we can all understand the stories on our skin a little more.