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  Norma Cole
Norma Cole
Born in Toronto, Canada, Norma Cole received an MA in French from the University of Toronto in 1967, moving to France in time to absorb the revolutionary atmosphere of the May '68 general strike. Returning to Toronto in the early '70s, she migrated to San Francisco in 1977, where she has lived ever since. A member of the circle of poets around Robert Duncan in the '80s, and a fellow traveler of San Francisco's language poets, Cole is also allied with contemporary French poets like Jacques Roubaud, Claude Royet-Journoud, and Emmanuel Hocquard. Her translations from the French include Hocquard's This Story Is Mine (Instress, 1999), Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France (Burning Deck, 2000), Danielle Collobert's Notebooks 1956-1978 (Litmus, 2003), and Fouad Gabriel Naffah's The Spirit God and the Properties of Nitrogen (Post-Apollo, 2004). Where Shadows Will, Selected Poems 1988-2008 was published by City Lights earlier this year. TO BE AT MUSIC: Essays & Talks will appear from Omnidawn Press in June 2010.

Forms of the Verb to Make Almost Always Include the Eye



Norma Cole
Forms of the Verb to Make Almost Always Include the Eye

for instance the bird is watching the eye or the eye is looking
at the bird
presence of the eye in the text is witness to having done
the other is the stolen eye remembered
the eye is often in the hand
or is provided with a hand
which might introduce light, a double chandelier
permanent, ephemeral, the eye is what touches things

collusion: to doubt is to touch
so the hand supports the eye
being an eye the hand can penetrate line or skin
surface or space
being in the eye
tending towards vision

use: let it be a drawing
being careful
a world without color
sense is opposed to the literal sense hidden in it
figure is description of world with portrait in it
first geometry then portrait

number, space, motion, gift
custom is our nature
by nature so different
numbers imitate space
experience study


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