by Charles Stein
View from Tornado Island is the thirteenths and last book of an extended serial work that takes its names from the title of this book. The entire series speaks from a stock of some 26 "characters," numinous "objects," oddly configured "abstractions"—one for each letter of the English alphabet, which the author imagines as "wildly heterological metonyms displaying the emergence of all that comes to Appear. In its own terms the poem literally scries or conjures itself into existence and offers 'emergence' as a figure for the productive generosity, as it were, of Being. But the subjectivity of poetry and its obsession with its own nature thereby seems to flip: it is reality that solicits the meaning of poetry, not the other way round. Reality subsumes the very intuitions that it fosters, projecting itself—and the writer and reader together—onto an intransitive itinerary of pondering, the exit from which can only be-Discovery itself."