Winter 1989 • Vol. XI No. 1 Poetry |

Thinking of Jackson Pollock

When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of "get acquainted" period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. —J.P., 1947 The woods are a complicated thicket of lines parallel and skewed and intersecting where deep inside huge shapes move in shadow and once I heard a shot ring out echoing as if in anger through winter air. A patch of something stained the snow (rusty pine needles or maybe blood) and a woodpecker climbed a tree upside down. It is not a question of who died there but of who is dying this very moment where the certainty of sight fails. I will wait a child forever at the edge of these dark woods trying to make sense of a cry half animal, half human where the shape of a strange body fell lifeless in the snow. Should I enter the tangle at last (but I won't because it's twilight and I know that I'm afraid), I would see

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