©2021 Michael Raven

pain is my morphine, baby
forks dug into thighs
acid wash my eyes
reaching for that yin
yang higher heaven

he sang to me: alcohol
is your yoga baby
instead, pain will rain
the flowerpot soil
thick on my heart
making me feel
almost right once again

while i shout your name
beauty beauty beauty beautiful

unstop ears and hear
my heart strings ring
snapping blood flags
high mountain winds in
the center of it all

there is no zen here
in this empty place
i look to the ice and fire
in dark skies green
pick up the needle
and pierce my eyes
so i can't see
beauty beauty beauty beautiful
watching these
diamond days die
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Longing for a tat

If there was no covid, I might be sporting at least one or more new tattoos.

After a hiatus of almost 25 years between ink, the raven I got inked on my inner forearm last summer (fifth raven in three tattoos; six tattoos total) has infected me with the bug to get more (although at least one family member is begging for temperance on the matter). Honestly, as I get older, I give even less of a shit about what people say about my tattoos and I am suffering from a massive craving to get more. Several more. Okay, more than several more.

The next one is likely going to be either some literary phrase (see my post about Alice quotes from a few days before), something with a shodo feel like Joey Pang’s (Tattoo Temple, Hong Kong) style of brush calligraphy (probably a taoist or zen phrase/poem), or another raven, but done in a Celtic/Nordic tribal style.

Artist: Joey Pang, Tattoo Temple, Hong Kong

Right now, we can get tattoos still in our area (there’s no lock-down on tattoo parlors), but it seems like a bad time to do it. I think I’ll wait until the vaccines make their rounds. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about the myriad tattoos I’d like to get.

I was only partially joking when I said I’d consider getting my head shaved and a raven tattooed over an ear. That idea was met with a resounding, “NO!” on the home-front, and so, with tears in my eyes, I let that idea go.

Largely for illustration of placement; I’d go less stylized and more tribal/authentic

More than sporting the new ink, I love the actual process — the pain, the tension, the discomfort, the realization that this is permanent…

Yes. I am strange. I’d considered trying to talk my way into a sundance at one point, but realized that I don’t crave piercing in the way that I crave the feeling of getting a tattoo.

But there’s something about the ritual of getting a tattoo that I long for. Each one is like a shamanic rite of passage, each tattoo a milestone. And the pain? When it helps me to forget the other pains I experience by drawing the focus away from those other pains. It’s therapeutic in its own way.

Man… I miss the feeling of getting ink: the anticipation, the pain and the healing itch/pain. Maybe summer of 2021…