The back story to the above tattoo was recently posted on The Word Made Flesh blog.”The first time I met Allen Ginsberg..”
Filed under Allen Ginsberg, Tattoo
>My story is better. I heard Ginsberg read at the Paterson, NJ public library when I was 16 or so. I sat, literally, at his feet. Did I meet him, well, yes, sort of. He took an intermission and we went out in the hall to smoke cigarettes, this was 1969 I think and everyone smoked and you could smoke in the library even. I was hurrying down the hall to get back to the reading and bumped into Allen. We looked at each other and said, "excuse me". My first meeting with a famous poet. Many years later I had the words "Nolite conformari huic a seculo" tattooed on the inside of my right forearm. (Romans, 12:2 Be not conformed to this world). I never regretted that tattoo, but sometimes it seemed to lack heart and deny life. I needed balance. I got together with my tattooer friend and we took a photocopy of the words "Holy! holy! the world is holy!" from the annotated "Howl". The photocopy was of the original text as it came from Allen's typewriter. We blew it up, made a stencil, which was place on my arm, and the artist inked it into my skin. It's on the inside of the other forearm in the same place as the quote from Romans.
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