The Human Genre Project

The Illustrated Lady

When the sun stole her skin
from her in blisters, boils,
she turned the scars to art,
armoured her body in ink.

Some say it’s a werewolf disease,
sets monsters free at night,
burns vampires to dust in daylight,
but Julia is human and beautiful.

Her burst blisters form a supple bed
for more blisters and more to burst
and bed new blisters and more,
as bad as third degree burns.

So beside a lush jungle, Lucille Ball,
the Three Stooges, flowers, frogs,
cartoons and unicorns, Julia drew
a shock of flames on her skin
and reclaimed it.

Julia Gnuse is the Guinness World Record holder for most tattooed woman, and suffers from porphyria. Porphyria Cutanea Tarda is the most common subtype of porphyria, a disorder that results from a mutation on chromosome 6, at 6p21.3, causing painful blisters when skin is exposed to sunlight.

Aiko Harman