A tattoo inspired by a medical image of Anomie Fatale's brain unfurls across her porcelain shoulder.

"A friend of mine saw my MRI and said, 'It looks like a sea horse,' " Fatale, 24, explains. "So I took it to my tattoo artist and said: 'Trace it. . . . Put it on me.' "

The Bellmawr resident writes edgy, melodic rock songs with titles like "Palinopsia," the name for an optical disturbance that's among the debilitating symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

About four years ago, Fatale was diagnosed with the connective-tissue disease, which creates havoc in the joints, spine, and elsewhere. After surgeries left her barely able to move her head, she named her band Great Neck.

"Rather than screaming, I wrote lyrics on a napkin," she says. "My life's a musical."

Fatale writes and performs the soundtrack with Jesse Draham, with whom she shares a house, two dogs, and pretty much everything but the genetic disorder that transformed Kelianne Murray into Anomie Fatale.

"I was always looking for a stage name. I was always the girl who was the first one into the mosh pit," she says, a fragile yet fierce presence in a camisole-and-vest combo, boots, and wheelchair. Her walker is nearby.

Beneath her stylish slash of black hair, the blue of Fatale's eyes is startling. That she's barely able to move her head somehow amps up the power of her gaze.

She brings the same intensity to open-mic night at the Legendary Dobbs, on South Street, and to a Facebook page called "Sick and Sexy." That's where she and friends pose in artsy photos that display their disabilities.

"We call ourselves 'the sicksies,' " Fatale says. "Our mission statement is, 'We've been through hell and are hotter.'

"It's an empowerment thing, not a porn thing. Sexy does not mean naked. And just because we're disabled doesn't mean we're desperate."

Fatale grew up in Ewing Township, Mercer County, and in New Hope, Pa., where she won a songwriting award ("Pervert in Paradise" was her tune) in high school. In 2007 she was getting A's as a sophomore at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey when she began to experience vertigo and other symptoms.

By 2008, she had been forced to drop out of school and could no longer be independent. "There wasn't much left in my life," she recalls.

But while she was living with a friend-turned-caregiver named Mike Penn, Fatale began to write songs again.

"No matter what's going on with my brain," she says, "there's always music in my head."

Fatale met Draham, 26, at an open-mic night at the Treehouse in Audubon about two years ago. He says her song "Measure Man," about a patient whose future rests on flawed calculations, "made me fall in love with her."

They are working on a CD together and have burned me a couple of dozen tunes, old and new. Draham's guitar has a magnificent growl, and Fatale's voice soars.

"Her humor and grace come through in the songs," says John Faye, who hosts the open-mic nights at Dobbs and calls Great Neck's music "awesome."

Adds "Sick and Sexy" model Amanda Detweiler, 26: "Anomie is the most artistic, eccentric girl I've ever known.

"She's constantly creating. Every time I talk to her, she's written a new song."

Although her health is precarious - there's no cure for the disease - Fatale wants to advocate on behalf of the disabled, including through her songs.

She knows a thing or two about the power of music.

"When I wrote 'Seed,' I couldn't open my mouth. I thought someone else would have to sing it for me.

"I'm just glad I can sing it."

at 856-779-3845 or kriordan@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @inqkriordan. Read the Metro columnists' blog, "Blinq," at www.phillynews.com/blinq.