So it’s been a while since the last blog, and I’m still a little out of it after all the job turmoil.  Therefore, I wanted to borrow a great post from Marisa Kakoulas at  Marisa did a lot of work compiling her Holiday Must-Have Books Guide, so I wanted to spread the knowledge here.  Find her post at

I would add Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos edited by Kim Addonizio & Cheryl Dumesnil and Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man, a classic. 

There are additional books added in the N&S comments, so go have a look and get some gift-giving ideas–just in time for the holidays!


Rock n' Skull - Flip Folder, all copyrights iScream

In my unending quest for that right job, I came across iScream, a division of Mines Press in Westchester County, NY.  The concept behind iSream is 3D and flip designs using “lenticular technology” on stationery, school supplies, etc. 

What caught my attention: the collections.  In addition to a Marvel collection (which, by the way, highlights The Punisher–a Marvel comic/character you don’t see too much on school paraphenialia, but one that teens, in particular, like), there is a tattoo line.  Well, of course, I had to blog about it!

iScream’s tattoo collection is a good idea with lots of potential.  This line sports bookmarks, folders, cards, journals, memo pads, etc. highlighting basic flash tattoo designs like hearts, roses, skulls, and eagles with live free, love, and be proud messages.  Okay, good start. 

Thinking “out of the box” a little more

Now let’s step it up a notch with more fine art tattoos on their school supplies that hold these same strong messages.  Or mix it up a bit with flash and fine art to reach a broader range of buyers. 

And it would be great if they revamped the Web site.  Let’s see more of that “lenticular technology,” which according to the site “is a way of using different kinds of lenses to create depth (3-D) in an image or to flip from one image to another” on more pages than the homepage.  Hey, let’s see it on more products (kudos to Mines Press for manufacturing their stuff locally). 

And wouldn’t it be great if they took that whole iScream idea “out of the box”?  Look at all the meanings of the words “i” and “scream” and run with some of those variations.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love the Fat Albert rendition of  “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice scream,” but it would be nice to see that evolve into other creative tag lines.


Punisher Extreme Green - 3D Bookmark, copyright Marvel, design iScream

Well, there you have it, a look at tattoos (and The Punisher) through another “lens,” if you will, through  

Check it out, and let us know what you think!


Issue cover photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Christine Klocek-Lim, editor of Autumn Sky Poetry, an online poetry journal, and one of HRR’s June issue poets has compiled a wonderful issue of ekphrastic poetry inspired by some incredible artwork–both from famous and emerging artists.

The mix for this issue, which is Autumn Sky Poetry’s first to include artwork besides the vibrant and moving photographs of the editor in past issues, takes readers through many emotions, incorporating not only an array of artistic styles but also both free and formal verse as well as a contrapuntal poetic highlight.

According to Klocek-Lim, “Within a few months I committed myself to creating an issue that celebrated the fusion of poetry and art.”  And celebrate it does as each collaboration tugs at us a bit, reminding us of what’s here and who’s gone.

Check it at, and let us know what you think.

Great job, Christine!

Okay, so I know this blog is supposed to share stories, etc. about poets and/or tattoo artists.  But I just had to post this video link of The Alturas Duo playing Alex Walker’s piece “How I Long for.”

I met Walker, the composer, at Needles and Sins’ launch party after he performed with musician Brian Grosz and then did a solo piece.  Anyway, so there you go, tattoo related.  I also had listened to a little bit of his music via some of Marisa Kakoulas’ fb postings.  Marisa is the woman behind the whole Needles and Sins phenomenon–ah ha!–tattoo related again.

Anyway, most of Walker’s music has left me wondering what lies deeper within his musical skin.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all kinds of music if performed well and passionately.  And Walker definitely is very talented and passionate.  But sometimes I just need to hear crescendos, climaxes–even if brief–resolutions, haunting melodies that permutate into dissonances and recapitulate to remind us of that initial musical utter. 

Well Walker’s “How I Long for” gives me all this and more.  And The Alturas Duo performs Walker’s piece flawlessly and emotionally connected to the longing that I think Walker wants captured in those four musical minutes. 

Check it, and let HRR know what you think:
















Wendy Thomas, mother of six from Merrimack, New Hampshire, got her first tattoo at 47, some years after having had six children.  Thomas shares with HRR the place and purpose of her ink, “It was something I had thought long and hard about.  Just below my right wrist (on top), I have a black colon and exclamation point.”

Wendy adds, “I had always wanted to be a writer, but you know how kids (and especially 6 kids) can crowd dreams out. Now that the kids [are] older and [don’t] require my full attention as much, I got the tattoo to remind me in code that

If I want to be a writer, then I have to write:

if I write, things will be amazing (!).

Easy as that. It did it for me; it [her tiny tattoo] inspires me on a daily basis; it reminds me of my long life dream and to “just do it.”  

Something so small and permanent has such a large effect on the inspiration and motivation of one woman who has realized that not only was she meant to be a mother, but also she was destined to be a writer.  Let’s hope it inspires many of us. 

Once again language and art merge into the realms of WONDER and PASSION!

You can catch the rest of her story written by Thomas at

And Let us know what you think!

“Grace Song” by Lane Falcon
Issue One, December 2008,

“Blue Place” by Beatrix Gates
Issue One, December 2008,

“Rehearsal for Living Without You” by Pamela Johnson Parker
Issue Two, June 2009,

“Brother” by Jee Leong Koh
Issue Two, June 2009,

“Sister Poem #1” by Colleen Mills
Issue Two, June 2009, 

“Love Note, Date Unknown” by Jayne Pupek
Issue Two, June 2009,

A very special request has prompted HRR to add a sixth poem to this list (its previous list of Best-of-the-Net nominations had five). 

Congrats to all, and GOOD LUCK!!!!

Tattoo expert has new book

September 8, 2009


Marisa Kakoulas, NY attorney, writer, tattoo expert, friend to HRR, and founder of, celebrates the release of her new book, which, by the way, is “the first English language book on blackwork tattooing.”

Black Tattoo Art, Modern Expressions of the Tribal, according to the author, is “a monster 530-page, six-pound hardcover on black ink tattoos . . . [featuring] over 500 photos from tattoo artists around the world specializing in black ink tattooing.” 

And it’s “the only English language hardcover to explore the beauty of blackwork tattooing in its many forms, featuring interviews and photos from 35 of the world’s best artists working solely in black ink” (Kakoulas).

I’m sure whatever book comes from Marisa will be phenomenal in itself, so check it out and buy a copy!

For more info, check the publisher’s, Edition Reuss’, site, and let us know what you think:

Debbi’s poem “My Unknown Uncle” was included in HRR’s Issue One.

See more of her poetry on Contemporary American Voices

Congrats, Debbi!

“Grace Song” by Lane Falcon
Issue One, December 2008,

“Blue Place” by Beatrix Gates
Issue One, December 2008,

“Brother” by Jee Leong Koh
Issue Two, June 2009,

“Love Note, Date Unknown” by Jayne Pupek
Issue Two, June 2009,

“Rehearsal for Living Without You” by Pamela Johnson Parker
Issue Two, June 2009,


Christine Klocek-Lim, one of the poets featured in HRR’s Issue Two, has a chapbook coming out in December from Seven Kitchens Press called “The book of small treasures.”

Here’s a link:

Congrats, Christine; we’ll look for it!