first tattoos

A few of the poems in Front Man reference first tattoos and the meanings and reasons behind getting tattoos. One of the poems specifically references the ficticious front man getting a Clash tattoo, the cover of London Calling, on his forearm. That poem and some of the others have sometimes prompted people at readings to ask me if I have tattoos.

I actually have four of them-two on my upper left arm, one on the upper right arm, and a pretty big one on my right leg. Most of the tattoos were inked on me during my punk rock days, but all of them having meaning. Though I don’t have a specific Clash tattoo, I do have a few punk rock band tattoos, including two Hot Water Music-inspired ones and one of the inconic Lawrence Arms logo-the hourglass with the bat wings/time flies symbol.

So that then poses the question by people, Will you regret those music tattoos when you are older? Maybe my answer will change when I’m 55, but for right now, I don’t foresee any regrets.

 Truth be told, some of my best memories are of punk rock shows, like the time I saw the Lawrence Arms for the first time at the cramped basement hall at the First Unitarian Church in Philly, when they opened for Against Me! a number of years ago. Those bands  and shows remind me of being young and raising my voice with best friends to sing along with some of our favorite songs. And still, to this day, as soon as I hear Brendan Kelly or Chuck Ragan’s raspy voices roar over the crunch of power chords, I feel good.


About Brian Fanelli

I'm a poet, teacher, music junkie and much more. My first chapbook of poems, Front Man, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing. My full-length book of poems, All That Remains, was published in 2013 by Unbound Content. My latest book, Waiting for the Dead to Speak, was published in the fall of 2016 by NYQ Books. My work has also been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Harpur Palate, Boston Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Verse Daily, Spillway, Portland Review, and several other publications. My poetry has also been featured on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Currently, I teach English full-time at Lackawanna College.
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