Painted by a Drunk in Gumboots*
(on viewing Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles at the Australian National Gallery)
Sit on the big bench; it’s far enough away
to scan the canvas all at once moving only eyes,
close enough so you needn’t see Lee Krasner’s
black and white; terms of sale mean she
hangs with him eternally.
Watch viscous paint flows surge like tides until,
sucked from the air by gravity, they lead
your eye in to drippings that writhe
in whiplash curves; as lines ignore objects,
No silhouettes or concrete shapes appear,
no negative space; maps of bee trajectories
lead deeper in, reach for and ricochet back
from the edge.
Tension of resisted overbalance vibrates,
patterns lacking all function but to mirror
every movement he makes. Before you lies a map
of a man, sketched in spatters and lines;
ghost shadows of a life.
* Overheard from a reporter at the opening viewing of Blue Poles.
Mercedes Webb-Pullman started writing in 2007 and graduated from IIML Victoria University with MA in Creative Writing 2011. Her work has appeared in Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, Otoliths, Connotations, The Red Room, Typewriter Silver Birch Press, and Cliterature, among others, and in her books. The latest, The Jean Genie, explores the work of Jean Genet. She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.
The Ekphrastic Review
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