Landscape: On Charles Tomlinson


Not knowing where to
            begin, the eye begins
                       by chance.
A field opens, articulating
           space. In a place un-named
                       the eye empties, then grips
shapes suggesting themselves-
           rock tips and slag heaps
                       rise, and rising, dissolve
into cloud heads delineating
           bird skull and shell, a dispensation
                       not less hospitable
than an Eden, the clarity
           of change before madman
                      Adam named it
into static certitude.
           In this shifting landscape-
                      exact as the sea, where water
writes and rewrites shorelines,
           the eye
                      relates each shape with
all that it is not,
           distinctions
                      of point and counter-
point, release, and replenishment-
            a chance to begin
                       again.


Jonathan Minton is from Buffalo, NY and has recently published poetry in such journals as Sugar Mule, Moria, Seems, White Pelican, and Apples and Oranges. His chapbook Lost Languages was published by Longleaf Press in 1999. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the poetics program at SUNY-Buffalo.