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Monday, March 2, 2015

The 15 best Bukowski Tattoos Online


I recently fielded an interesting enquiry into a Bukowski quote for a tattoo it got me thinking about what the quality of Buk tats was like online. As you can imagine there is a wide variety of stuff available. In my searches over the last few days I was looking for clarity, important Bukowski quotes which summed up his vision & stunning visuals which appropriated his work.

(See my previous post 'A Charles Bukowski Tattoo Narrative': http://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/a-charles-bukowski-tattoo.html)

It didn't take me long to work out that many of the tattoos purported to derive from Bukowski quotes were actually written by other people. As you can imagine, people like to take shortcuts. Why read a big book when you can download a shitload of quotes from say, Goodreads?

Here is a selection of some of the best tats I initially discovered this week attributed to Buk. As you will see, only about half of Bukowski's poems can clearly be identified in the collection below.  Very shameful in view of the richness & depth of Bukowski's vast outpourings over many decades.

Let me know if you have or can alert me to better & more authentic Bukowski tattoos.

#15 DON"T FORGET TO PLAY

The child like drawing of a playground certainly mimics Bukowski's minimalistic style but I cannot find any confirmation that he is attributed in creating the drawing or phrase.


#14 THERE IS NO OTHER WAY/ AND THERE NEVER WAS


From ‘so you want to be a writer?’: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/so-you-want-be-writer


#13 I LISTENED TO THE BRAY OF MY HEART. i am i am iam

Disappointingly, this quote appears to be written by Sylvia Plath: https://www.pinterest.com/arisunflower/words/



#12 SOMETIMES


No one on Bukowski Forum can verify whether this is a legit Bukowski quote: http://bukowskiforum.com/threads/sometimes-you-just-have-to-pee-in-the-sink.8389/



#11 DON'T TRY- a phrase taken from Bukowski's headstone.
Find a photo here of his grave site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40183406@N00/6114345531
See a further explanation on Bukowski.net here: http://bukowski.net/dont-try.php



#10 ANOTHER MISTAKE

Although the below quote is attributed to Buk a simple search through brainpickings reveals it was written by the poet Dorianne Laux in her poem Antilamentation:



#9 LAUGHING AT THE ODDS

From a Life Magazine 1988 interview? In David Stephen Calonne's best collection of Buk intereviews- CHARLES BUKOWSKI: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews & Encounters 1963-1993 Life magazine fails to get a mention: http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-charles-bukowski-20140812-story.html



#8 WHORE-ASS ART


According to Black Swan on a 2011 Bukowski Forum the quote below originated in a letter between Buk and Shari Martinelli in the book Beerspit Night and Cursing, pages 92-93: http://bukowskiforum.com/threads/bukowski-quote-original-source.6837/



#7 FOUL AS I

‘There was no creature living as foul as I.’

From Bukowski’s poem ‘I’m in Love’ (Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit). Find the poem here: http://www.poemhunter.com/best-poems/charles-bukowski/i-m-in-love/


#6 FIND WHAT YOU LOVE

Interestingly, the Quote Investigator is unable to find any definitive Bukowski source to attribute the quote to him: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/05/29/find-love/


#5 I DON'T WEEP

Bukowski's poem 'Bluebird' is perhaps his most widely known poem & has spawned more tats than any other of his works. The poem is an unusual blend of sentiment and emotional toughness. There are three excellent examples of tattoos below. Find the original poem here: http://allpoetry.com/poem/8509539-Bluebird-by-Charles-Bukowski



#4 THERE IS A BLUEBIRD IN MY HEART


#3 MORE BLUEBIRDS

I prefer the tat 2 photos below to the more cluttered finished product here:



#2 BUK FIST


Although Bukowski mentioned repeatedly that he had small soft hands this one is a tough mutha fukka! The photo the tattoo is based on (top right) which appeared previously on the cover of Howard Sounes excellent biography Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life.

#1 BORN INTO THIS SHIT

This tattoo shows fragments from one of Bukowski's best poem 'Dinosauria, we' and the first words of the poem 'born into this' became the title on an important documentary film on his life: BORN INTO THIS (2003). Find the poem here: http://asitoughttobe.com/2010/08/14/saturday-poetry-series-presents-charles-bukowski/

I like the experimental feel of this tattoo which tries to incorporate some of the central images of the poem.





RELATED TATTOO MATERIAL




See also: From Serbia With Love- Another Bukowski Tattoo Narrative: https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/from-serbia-with-love-bukowski-tattoo.html


Worst Australian Tattoo?: https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/worst-australian-tattoo.html


See also recent (Nov 2018) impressive Bukowski Leg Sleeve Tattoo here: https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com/2018/11/new-buk-tattoo-alexander-rane-let-it.html


Update: 4 October 2015

I like this classy remake of Bukowski's sketch for his novel Women:



This realistic head-shot tat is also very impressive.