Reviews, Vol. 3.2, June 2009
Mud Luscious Press, 2009
Review by Cynthia Reeser
Charles Lennox’s slim eight-poem mini-chapbook from Mud Luscious Press can best be described as variations on a field. The narrative poems of A Field of Colors comprise a (roughly octagonal) kaleidoscopic view of a field: what happens there, what doesn’t happen there anymore, and the acknowledgement that it is not known what happens in the unattended field.
The narrative voice remains, steadily, that of a father or father-figure. Lennox writes in I.:
They are my girls for the week & they spread the field, collecting rainbow shards off the ground into baskets normally reserved for easter egg hunts. My youngest finds a rainbow stick & sucks on it like a candy cane & says to me later in the truck that rainbows taste just like pancake syrup & can she have some more before bed.
Where I. is a gentle observation, II. is like a surreal version of the same. But this time around, the field from the day before has exploded its colorful bits and along with it, various animals deconstructed into their parts, the result like interchangeable pieces of a puzzle. Which is an apt description for the chapbook itself, whose poems comprise on some level, pieces that can be fitted at various intervals to create something forming, more or less, a complete picture. The language overall is that of tenderness—the fatherly observations acting as an informant to linguistic movement, as with VIII.:
She plays the angel & wears five halos over her head & they do not fall out of place, even when she goes tumbling on elbows & knees. The halos are unlit & metallic-looking & I wish I could somehow reignite them with fire. I would use them for headlights & banish the night.
Lennox takes an interesting approach to a familiar topic. Each poem is another view, another day. Sometimes, Lennox writes, “[m]y girls grow in front of me. Their voices carry loads.” In spite of a setting that could prove difficult to sustain, Lennox’s subject takes on a new facet with each poem in both setting and imagery (where there is color or lack of color), enlarging the scope of the work as a whole.