Jackson Pollock

Out of silence, and lidded smolder,

arose a localized storm.

You could say

it was a balletic squall

forecasting its own tyrant reign

and fall, a fate designed

to galvanize and then blackout

not so gently into that goodnight

exit wreck.

Nature is as nature does,

right, Mr. Pollock?

In your rare case,

mercury dripped

from your stubby filaments

like quicksilver on the lam,

and you, part-man, part-wolf,


spindling rogue science and alchemy

into a singular tempest,

you, Pollock, changed the course

of weather.

You disrupted the static quo

by flashing X-rays of a gutted dreamscape,

by showing us the prehistoric graffiti

on God’s bathroom stall.

Some people blanched, others blushed, some sneered,

still others reviled

the day you picked up a brush

and dared to anoint yourself a painter.

As if

art was their remedial eunuch and pet valet,

housebroken and trained

to cross the parlor

without disturbing their death-rites

or wrinkling the air.

The testicular jilt

and primacy of your form

did not fit their paradigm,

they hadn’t yet designed

the right bag in which to carry your balls.

Of course, what they lacked in vision,

they made up for in money and scissors,

and so it was only a matter of time before

snip and kaching.

Alchemy defies dimestore analysis,

and yet the riots you laid down, Pollock,

the freewheeling dervishes and calisthenics

captured on canvas and arrested in space,

continue to inspire freebase bop solos—

Form following dysfunction

of the world at large

off a cliff

running the ground up

to lightning rods within

igniting crack and boom

and the kaleidoscopic pop

of a cosmic aneurysm



the manic hodgepodge of conjugal blips


nimbus mating with melted crayons,

and the whorling gist of Van Gogh’s skies

reimagined as atomic ruptures


waggling freeform tentacles

of a giant mythical squid with a bloodlust

for pirates and ships


viscous hysteria, and vitreous strands of dreamstuff

as if bugleblown out of the Universe’s congested pope of a nose.

You danced your beautiful palsied dance

inside the paintings, Mr. Pollock,

you romanced dark clouds and silver linings

with your own glyphic sense of cherish,

and if nature is as nature does,

then I’d say that

soul-expansion and self-annihilation

ran hand in hand

in you

like vagrant playmates or prickly bedfellows,

the molecular rasp

of a perfect storm

beyond which all else


About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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