Think Tank Thursday: Jackson Pollock

This week for Poets United, I chose an artist for our prompt, #104.  The controversial artist Jackson Pollock.  I was on the fence about selecting him, this is when I knew I must.

Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter,  in the abstract expressionist movement. He was nicknamed 'Jack the Dripper', for his painting style.  He didn't use brushes, but sticks, trowels, and knives. He would cut and pour paint out of paint cans. He used linseed oil and enamel paint, mainly.  His painting was called action painting. He taped canvas onto a floor and then would move around it.  For me, I see it as a dance of emotions bleeding on the canvas. Whatever memory struck him was how he applied his next layer.  This is my opinion from what I have read about the man and his style.  He was also known for adding dirt, broken glass and other fragments, to his art.  His abstract style was a form of action painting. Pollock is most celebrated for this form, abstract expressionism. He would splash, dribble, drip and pour paint onto his canvas.  He described his abstraction, as  "an attempt to evoke the rhythmic energy of nature."  You can read more about Pollock here.

fall n' flow gravity lends a hand
  black n' white drips cast
shadows n' light
formed from granite memories
fractured shards of glass blur
the veins of gold
     like a blindsided dance crimson drips
the residue of life
fossils still remain in
  beveled edges of youth
          revealed in genetic coding
        bits of darkness scatter
        across the extended lines of my day
        oils and spirits dance like
       a measured earthquake
      a map of life
           illuminated with draped ribbons
 of light
       trying to block the black holes
            deep amber like weathered copper 
   displayed against
   long black branches that extend and twist, 
like trees in a storm
 blue notes lift like a bird trying to soar
its life flowing out
whispers of stars dot the landscape
     Secret signs among the layers of wrestled mood
lightning strikes me like
a chimed clock I perform
I remember the string of Ma's glass beads
 always worn on Sunday 
the homemade honey dripping on my plate
the bolts of white light across a humid indigo velvet
yellow leaves dancing in the wind
 playing in the autumn sky
like a veil of crooked trees against fenced in dreams
I fly through pigment of cosmic tears
twisted ivy pulls me towards my roots
memories made in wet muslin
kinetic forces between the lines
subject to your interpretation
my map, my memories
gravity took over
 and the star exploded


E.J. Wesley said…
Ella, you are amazing! Big fan of Pollock's approach to art, though my tastes are more for the impressionists. Bigger fan of your ode to his technique. :)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Ellie, this is fantastic - one of your best - and about art, that you love so much. So many great lines, especially the hints of your genetic line, the "bits of darkness" that "scatter day".......I especially love "oils and spirits dance" - that is your artist's soul speaking - this poem reads like a painting looks, "illuminated with draped ribbons of light". The richness, the colors, the "whispers of stars"..........the "veil of crooked trees against fenced-in dreams"....the exploding star. WOW! I am waiting for the day when you knock those fences down and claim your status as an artist. You go, girl!
De said…
Ella, I love this bit, especially:
"fractured shards of glass blur
the veins of gold
like a blindsided dance crimson drips"

and the idea of the black as branches. Fantastic.
Excellent piece.
The whole poem just oozes! And in a good way.
Lolamouse said…
Thank you for your introduction to Pollock. I feel like I learned something about him and his work. Your poem was fantastic! Not only an ode to J.P. but also your own memories and how his painting evoked them. Loved it!
Laurie Kolp said…
This is great, Ella... I like the turn in the middle to your childhood... and the whole poem is filled with such lovely word choices, too.
Jo Murray said…
Ella.... you painted such a picture of Pollock's technique... do you mind if, at some time, I copy it to my blog... with a link to you as the author of course.
I love when yellow leaves dance in the wind! I miss Autumn, it's been 117*F here for the whole week and will be hellish whole July

You have well and truly managed to capture about all that there was to say about your choice of painting. Very effective descriptions and I love the colourful words....

A great prompt with a difference this week Ella.
I am off to Spain for a week, so may be absent from comments etc
Eileen :)
Mary said…
Ella, this is a wonderful response to your prompt. As I see it (and I may be wrong), it starts out reflecting on Pollock's painting & ends up triggering your own memories. Isn't it interesting what remember? (Glass beads on Sunday) And the ending blew me away, Ella. With the star exploding, which took us back to Pollock's work. You provided a great prompt plus a great poem.
Ella said…
Thank you Eileen! I know you will found inspiration and magic! Take a lot of photos and enJOY! I'm excited for you~ No, I've never been, but I get the feeling I have roots there!
I never write poems ahead of prompts. This one began this morning in the wee hours~

Dezzy-Is Autumn your fav? It is mine~
Yeah, I hear you, I'm tired of summer, already! Ick 100 F for is like blizzard weather at my house. We watch movies and try to chill ;D lol

Jo-Yes, you may! I am flattered and so happy you like it :D Yes, please let me know when...
Thank you so much! It just came to me, what he might of tried to capture of his youth. Thank you!!!

Laurie-Thank you! It took awhile to pull it together, but once I thought of him as a young boy...I saw it different. How he try to find good in his troubled past!

Thank you Lolamouse! They weren't my memories, but ones I suspected he had. Okay, maybe I blurred the lines between his and mine~
Thank you so much...I'll be by is thundering, here!

Alex-Thank you! I hope you are staying cool! NC is a sauna; tomorrow a movie day, for sure ;D

De-Thank you! I loved your view, too ;D I knew I had to go with this prompt, because I knew it would inspire everyone to see through his art! So glad you joined in :D

Sherry-Thank you so much! :D I would love to knock down some fences, lol I'm a work in progress...Thanks for all the encouragement! I loved yours...

EJ-Thank you ;D You make me blush, but I love it~ I tried to see through the paint. He had a difficult childhood and it was suspected he had some mental issues?! Alcoholism played a major role in his fractured view and his death. Yet, he did have an amazing technique and broke new ground... Thank you so much~
Ella said…
Mary-I didn't see you there...YOU must of stopped by while I was commenting! Thank you, it came to me in the wee hours. Then I finished this morning. I blurred the lines of what I suspected his childhood might of been, with mine.
I found words at random. I gathered them and wrote around them. I was on the fence about the prompt, but something made me do it anyway. I tried to imagine Jackson as a boy. I do think our memories influence our art~ Thank you so much! ;D
Mary Ann Potter said…
I love "draped ribbons of light." Pollock's work is described so beautifully in your poem!
Heaven said…
Your pen was a brushstroke of vivid memories and colors exploding ~ Wonderful exploration of his painting process ~ Thanks for introducing him to me as well ~
Mama Zen said…
This is exquisite, Ella!
Hannah said…
like a blindsided dance crimson drips

beveled edges of youth
revealed in genetic coding
deep amber like weathered copper
displayed against
long black branches that extend and twist,
like trees in a storm
blue notes lift like a bird trying to soar

SO much magic happening in this poem!!! My favorites could extend on and on!! Love the prompt and your creative poem, Ella!
Daydreamertoo said…
I guess you really like this guys work because it truly inspired your prose to paint in beautiful word what he did on canvas. This really is a fabulous piece of art too Ella.
scarlett clay said…
He sure was a trail blazer wasn't he, enjoyed learning more about him. Your writing is spectacular, keeps me reading to the very end.
An amazing poem Ella, wonderful to read. Thanks for sharing.

Renee said…
While reading the poem I could almost see Pollock dancing and slinging paint, then delicately dripping crimson droplets randomly. I loved the part about your mother's glass beads, it felt like a part of my childhood, the words just took me there. Well done, I read it several times. Thanks for sharing. Now I am going to read it again.
Kerry O'Connor said…
I think Pollock was a genius and I love how you have seen pictures in his paintings, rather like the images one imagines in flames. Your stream of consciousness style is so suited to the theme, and I just loved your phrasing.

formed from granite memories
fractured shards of glass blur
the veins of gold
like a blindsided dance crimson drips
the residue of life...

I could go on but I would quote the whole poem.
Peggy said…
I was late finding this prompt but glad I did. I enjoyed reading your poem. You really took off with Pollock's piece. Thanks for an interesting prompt!
Benjamin Thomas said…
Hello Ella,

Lovely introduction:

fall n' flow gravity lends a hand
black n' white drips cast
shadows n' light
formed from granite memories
fractured shards of glass blur
the veins of gold
like a blindsided dance crimson drips
the residue of life
fossils still remain in
beveled edges of youth

You have a very skillful use of words. Enjoyed the prompt and learning about the painter Jackson Pollock. Very interesting artist!
Marcie said…
Wonderful. Jackson Pollock is one of my all time favorite artists. Love your tribute to him here.
Anonymous said…
I remember painting in this style in high school. It was fun and helped release the inner abstractionist in me.
Arlee Bird said…
You certainly captured Pollock better than Pollock did. Nice poem that really evokes his style. I'm of mixed feelings about Pollock's art. He's not my favorite artist, but his works were interesting experiments.

Tossing It Out
Ella said…
Lee-Thank you! :D
I'm stunned...can't say speechless. I rarely am, lol. I too have mixed feelings, till I tried to see behind his art. I agree with you~

Stephen-I think you should try painting again ;D I have never tried to paint his style. I bet it was really fun :D

Marcie-Thank you! Congrats on being featured this week~ (Crescendoh)

Benjamin-I am so happy Bren found you and you joined in! Thank you!
Nice to meet you :D

Peggy-Thank you! Something struck me to think about him being young. What might his life been like? I am glad you joined in :D

Kerry-Thank you! I will definitely try poetry and art again~ I found it inspired me to see beyond the actually painting. This fascinates me :D Thank you so much~

Renee-Thank you for saying so! I often say to other poets "I have to read it again." This means a lot ;D I'm glad I gave you a visit to your past~

Yvonne-Thank you! I have missed your voice~ I'll stop by :D

Scarlett-Yes, he was! Many still examine his paintings for secret lettering. Thank you :D

Bren-Thank you! I was confused by his art, until I wrote this poem. I saw beyond the paint and it made me see him differently! Thank you so much~

Hannah-Thank you so much! It took awhile to rearrange the words gathered and then other ideas struck me~ Smiles to you! :D

Mama Zen-Thank you :D

Heaven-Your comment was so poetic!
I loved it~ I liked that we broke new ground. I will try this again, with another famous poet ;D Thank you!

Mary Ann-Thank you! I had fun once I saw his changed the whole poem :D
Monica said…
Really beautiful. Love whispers of stars dot the landscape. Brilliant!
Ella said…
Hello Monica-Thank you so much! :D xo