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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Bukowski Leg Sleeve Tattoo: Alexander Rane “Let It Enfold You”

Recently received an email from a fellow Bukophile and have been communicating with him for a month or so about his amazing full leg tattoo which is based on Bukowski’s 10 page poem “Let It Enfold You” which first appeared in his posthumous collection Betting On The Muse (2006).

If you can spare the time, have a quick read of the poem here on

Alexander Rane who lives in Lexington Kentucky was keen to contact Bold Monkey about his emerging Bukowski tattoo created by the artist Sara Huser of Castle of Color Tattoos. He attached some photos and the following message, in part:

 ”It's no where near complete, but I wanted to share it and let you know I appreciate your posts! Bookmarked and check in regularly. 

Let It Enfold You was the first poem I ever read and it absolutely changed my life... I gave my tattoo artist my leg and the poem, she has done everything else without substantive input... As you can see, it's unreal…I want to try and let people know how talented she is! 

This is just one section, my shin, the entire leg is covered, but none of it is entirely finished yet. Every word and line was taken from the poem exclusively. 

Passing it along because you might appreciate it!”

I certainly have! As you scroll down the page and view the changing perspectives on the latest work on Alexander’s leg, you’ll have to admit that Sara’s Buk tatt is amongst the most complex and sophisticated you've seen.

The poem let it enfold you is written from the perspective of Bukowski as an old man and he reflects on his fucked-up life. His central message is that despite the ugliness and hatred and stupidity he has encountered over the years, he has learnt how to release himself from his hardened shell and to embrace the many simple pleasures and happy discoveries- however ephemeral.

Half way through the poem he describes his hard fought vision:

something in me
relaxed, smoothed
I no longer had to
prove that I was a

I didn’t have to prove

I began to see things
coffee cups lined up
behind a counter in a 
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on my dresser top
stopped there,
really stopped there
with its body,
its ears,
its nose,
it was fixed,
a bit of life
caught within itself
and its eyes looked
at me
and they were
then- it was

Most of the above lines and close to 200 lines in total from Let It Enfold You have been inked into Rane’s skin.

Alexander is clear in explaining his tattoo is a work in progress, "Like I said, it's really incomplete - not a single place is finished being tattooed yet, but I will be sure to update whenever it is.

I've got hundreds of it being tattooed, all the stages throughout, I'm planning on doing a little piece on it once it's completely finished."

Asked today about how many hours Sara has devoted to the project, Rane says, without a quiver of regret or of the discomfort & pain to follow, "We haven't kept detailed track of the hours, but I'd guess 50 or so, probably just as many left to go."

Stay tuned for further updates on the tattoo.

For more information check out the following links: 

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