Surfaces is John Tipton’s first full-length collection of poems. Here is a world of Cartesian precision, where matrices and Markov chains are revealed by the lattice of snowfall and the improbable order of ants. Yet the irrational and the absurd are not exiled from these poems, warping and defining their contours instead: “here the geography is the horizon here / Oklahoma moves him in ways he regrets . . .”

“I’ve been wandering through Surfaces, marveling at the delicacy of its strictness, the obduracy of its lucidity. There is so much in so little, like micro-universes that proliferate in a single leaf, drawing the reader to look and look some more. Tipton has woven Euclid and Turing into a thoughtscape of minute linguistic, visual, and auditory particulars: the ants, folds, paper, ‘writing at the pace of rain.’ Throughout, there is heft and intelligence and even cunning in the style of Odysseus, but all so subtle and restrained that the reader has to, wants to, keep moving a little closer.” —Mary Margaret Sloan