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The Tattooed Poet’s Project, Jillian Brall’s Love of Trees Manifests Itself in a Back Piece

May 31st, 2009
In April, we featured 31 tattooed poets in honor of National Poetry Month. But we had some late entries who missed the cut-off and, well, we just plum ran out of days. Nonetheless, we have decided to continue the feature as an occasional treat for those lovers of tattoos and poetry who frequent Tattoosday.

First, the tattoo:


The owner of this piece elaborates:

My name is Jillian Brall. I am receiving my MFA in Poetry from The New School this May. I am also a collage artist and saxophonist. I live and work in Brooklyn (Bushwick)…On my back is a bare black and grey tone tree that I drew. I have been drawing trees like this one since I was a little girl. Drawing them makes me feel calm and focused. I love seeing the skeleton of the tree, not veiled by leaves. I love that every time I draw one it is completely unique from all the others I have or ever will draw…different numbers of branches, different sizes, different positions, different light sources guiding the shading of the trees.

Jillian had this tattooed in February 2007 at R&D Tattoo in Queens, Rich Fie is the tattoo artist. She adds, “the tree was definitely not his typical street style tattoo, but I drew the sketch and he traced it and did a really beautiful job with it!”

When I asked Jillian for a poem, she not only offered up a poem, but she presented a photo of one of the collages she created:


And, a short poem from Jillian, as well:

To Lose Myself

At night in bed, I hear my neighbor’s heaving music

through the concrete wall. In this pale red light

the music is supposed to inspire me to lose myself.

It is supposed to aid me in losing myself.

But I turn my head and there is a bookshelf, with my books in it.

I turn my head and there is the off-white circular rug.

I’m not lost.

Someone threw it out in the hallway, and after scrutinizing and cleaning it,

I brought it into my room.

I turn my head and there is a pen I took from the bank.

And there is a bottle of diet coke,

not an angel, an object without angles.

I turn my head and there is my laundry bag,

not the underworld.

Thanks to Jillian for sharing her tattoo, her collage and her poem! The Tattooed Poets project can be seen its entirety if you click on the tag at the bottom of the post.

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One Response to “The Tattooed Poet’s Project, Jillian Brall’s Love of Trees Manifests Itself in a Back Piece”


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