JANUARY IN THE UPPER MIDWEST
One searches in vain for a doubting tulip and some quick-witted rocks. There are no highbrow ponds. Militant grass is merely a concept. Trees do not falsify their rings; streams are not lascivious; an infamous breeze has yet to appear. Here a blind neutrality is the rule. Or is it my imagination? Nature has no imagination. It has presence, it abides. The land abides without mercy.
Brian Johnson is the author of Self-Portrait, a chapbook; Torch Lake and Other Poems, a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award, and Site Visits, a collaborative work with the German painter Burghard Müller-Dannhausen. He has taught creative writing at Brown, Yale, and Southern Connecticut State, where he is currently professor of English.