A

A

By Norma Cole b. 1945 Norma Cole
one box falls out of another box, ashy covenant of separation
two birds, one clamp, no reaction just hanging there as the arrow moved
notes put the map back into the water
they don’t notice what they’re learning
name all the days, parts of them painted to look out of control then crashed into a tree
letters in the boxes in the light old lady opportunity
the mirror ceases to be right here, pressure on the hand sends a biscuit to the mouth
a circuit connected by eyes stopping watching
quantity of information in the type, nation in the line or lines
legs broken and maladroit preview a long corridor filing against
walls engaging hands going without end in the corridor
back to front to quay, cracking of wood, a miner’s ladder five meters high
notices filled with objects
later, however, a gelatin lit up, Chinese cryptesthesia, American music
mural fold or fist, magnetic moment measures behavior, thinking penetrates slowly
start over a sensible solution, a compact rower’s body zippered
into an orange flight suit, all the confidence of the Chinese navy exposing a big area extinct of life forms

Norma Cole, "A" from Where Shadows Will, City Lights Spotlight No. 1. Copyright © 2009 by Norma Cole.  Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Where Shadows Will (City Lights Books, 2009)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Norma Cole b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. She was born in Toronto, Canada, and attended the University of Toronto for her BA in Modern Languages and MA in French. Her translation works include Danielle Collobert’s Journals (1989), Anne Portugal’s Nude (2001), and Fouad Gabriel Naffah’s The Spirit God and the Properities Of Nitrogen (2004). She has also edited and translated Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.