Norma Cole

In the cavern of a story, a man and his book report.
--Guess who I'm going up with?
--Who?  I pretend, asking not to know.  Who has not pretended THAT?
She bent lower over her armful of daisies.
Caught up in the subjectivity emanating from the extending phrases of the
photographer/writer, I am first one then the other in this room, now through
this reading existing.  
The everpresent sense of loss is neither sentimental nor metaphorical, unless
it can be apprehended as a metaphor for itself.
"Before I lose it."
Is she the same person as the little girl who once gathered daisies by the
Light is the evidence of motion, the trace of gesture.  Is the image of the
model then the evidence of stillness, its trace, its stand-in?
It was a small apartment in fact.  The dining room became the spare bedroom
when his mother-in-law visited.  She visited six months every year.  Where did
she live during the other six months?  A fan spins at the ceiling.  The woman
wearing shoes with cork soles enters.  They are slippers, but she uses them as
In the dark in a long exposure he writes on her body with light from a certain
distance with his left hand as he stands by the camera on its tripod.  With
his right hand he controls the length of the exposure.  The smell of burning
charcoal interferes with the voices.  
Properties and Models:
Afternoons in cities have colors as do voices and faces.  Individuals sitting
for their portrait seek their subjectivity in the objectification of the gaze
of the photographer "How do I look."  Here is the camera's inanimate lens, and
here is the operator whose gaze is of an unprecedented interiority.  What to
"present" to this circumstance.  He tells her to look at his hand, an oblique
vertical, doubt's exclusion.  
His Blindness:
In fact, he doesn't believe in it.
He is writing his double life.  The images are the point of triangulation, for
their genesis depends upon, devolves from, both the sighted and the unsighted
experience.  The unsighted/sightless experience is rooted in sight and is
never not in relation to that which was sight-seen.  The photographs could be
called sight-unseen.
It is not a matter of acceptance.  It simply IS NOT.  The saying "out of sight
out of mind" would express the point furthest from the experience presented
here where the sight-memories have been flagged, culled, kindled, tended, and
coded, where transubstantiation has taken place.
The Glass Elbow:
Is the little girl at his side walking along the path towards the stream,
towards the footbridge that crosses the talking stream?  Or is she the person
in the kitchen to whom he is relating the story, "And as in a tale..."?  Three
tall double windows open outward onto a noisy walking street smelling of
cooking.  A Passage of Sighs connects the Street of the Pyrenees with the
Street of China.
Two men on a raised platform are hitting each other and all around people are
watching.  "So I cross-reference, living in someone else's house, rationalized
and compromised." The temperature of the hand and the temperature of the thing
in it
   a medal, or  swallow
it could have been a familiar
gesture sun on the work
table the return of the decoy
backwards or in reverse or in-
verse it was a title in 
dot matrix
In that garden the blind photographer was not given permission to touch the
sculpture.  He would only have needed a stepladder.  To take or grasp as with
the mind.  Write as if you are that man, as if you had permission and a
the lovers, the unstable, the
claustrophobic, you say...
The ground, the vertical wall of stone blocks in the state of being built or
in the state of being taken apart.  A tent, stones, a couple of ladders on the
ground.  Shadows imply light, a hill.  And yes, over the page the summation or
conclusion, the hospital wall.
breaking INTO silence, as though it's a vault?  As she was about to embark, he
took the flowers from her and tossed them into the sea.  Like those
Earth of Tuscany, earth of Cyprus, sepia earth of Sienna, red of Pozzuoli,
earth of Herculaneum, burnt earth of Umbria, copper earth of Umbria, natural
earth of Umbria, brown earth of Cassel, green earth of Brentonia, Roman black,
German black
Three women then the still life.  Mathematics, a mask of contrition.
Transitional,the three women with the still life.  Will have been, would have
been, the ballet mecanique, it wasn't loud enough.  Swung upside down and then
sirens.  Centrifugal absent force this chaos.
Mange des chocolats, petite;
Mange des chocolats!
--Fernando Pessoa
Moon over Manchester.  The chair is more comfortable, but the view from the
banquette is superior.  We talked about the words for growth and open space
scallop shells attached to a
vermilion pilgrim's collar, you
dreamed of such a shell (but pale)
pinned lightly to the skin
just below the cheekbone
Those mountains are not the legendary mountains.  Spinoza in her youth.  We
talked about what one does, the word PAIX repeated eighteen times.  Why does
it pull apart just there?  Brick the color of brick, a bathtub in the shape of
a bathtub and a nine-spoked wheel.  Many capitals and a pattern in evidence
   bridge acting in entire forgetfulness of the prophesy.  Birds in the holes
in the bush.   I was greatly astonished at the size of the bricks, at the
immense numbers of them, both baked and sun-dried. Et cetera.  Found in the
river, exquisite metalwork of lead and tin, poured.  A ring, a medal, a
helmet, a sword.  It begins modestly, always with the exit marked.   "But who
are you to look at me like that?"
One lived within the portrait of the other, an intimate brace, thus time's
contraction (shaping).  One awoke in the dream in the dark, traces of objects
on the surface, and reference and frailty.  One's interest in birds and dogs,
discomfort remembering the toys, adjacency with randomness as reference, not
knowing how to end things, not ending.  
or the problem of recognition
Her dress and start now.  To dress and sit down.  Someone flew up.
What is this book, smiling?  Kicked the wall, then gave her the flowers,
poppies and daisies.
'd be back at 8, a hole in the wall behind the speaker.
dropped into a circle, or landed.
To be continued as conventions you can fall from, a permanent quality.  -um,
gratia, grace, favor shown to another, goodwill, kindness regard
startled, because of the shadows.  Read more slowly in the street, says Medor,
in the heat.  Look at what we've spent already, think of your dead comrades.
(further notes on thought and vision)
In the frailty of 
objects (think of 
the other as burnished 
divine) called buster 
or lining or buffer 
beside the cells that 
make it play
the Artifact is 
where you find it 
a product of experiment  
it regulates the duck 
as filtered caress as 
thresholds are set flying 
and lying in the same 
picture, no violence 
no peaches, plums 
fruit, onions simply 
paper bewildered agate 
skin of the day before 
extending towards the 
sound, resistance eats
a nodal point, silence 
recommends reading
putsch and fib an intimate brace.  Her red coat 
seen from across the street, birds and dogs.  We spotted her later in the
coffee joint deep in conversation with a trick bag
reproaching stone, do I generalize?  only notice the demarcation line
interrogating its own degraded what you don't want "around" 
the coils fall, thus time's 
Things lying around.  Procedures for using sound.  
   "Didn't make the rate" quota 
    she meant
  "100 pieces botched"
    the city of the
could you say heart?
seduction of the negative or
the dead track you, perfect
food for an invading army
   "food of the strong people"
    Dear Pesto Cheeser
    These emblems don't 
mean (what they say) he has
never placed a veil across
that doorway
    and her lover
Today I went to visit the
ancient world, a world
of glass constructed once
then unconstructed, it
bypassed quality, so I came
home and read music what 
a woman carries a tune for
instance decentralization 
is centrally planned and
can be revoked at any time
it's noon.  The moon
is out, I'll meet you 
by the pyramid
Mount Rubbish where the light must make its way through fire
Let's make this page into an apartment, an enlightenment structure like being
inside someone's skull.  Over to the right there's a red car. Together they
had planted that tree I enjoy to see you notice
They called it The Colonnade although there were no columns visible
A loose and open weave, heavy ink and such, tech grey -- was clear Al:  nothing 
was wood
   Go:  nothing was heard
   made of parts
this is, this was devoted to the pearls for eyes and all that
when to laugh, the instructor practices, call her
The puzzle wrapped in stripes and binding.  Peggy speaks of courage, o for
overheard.  Compare your thoughts on it.  At first, you could not see the
source of the three vertical arches of light reflected in the pond "I imagine
they will surprise me" they do no interest here in the past  first
incredulous, then perfidious, before your thoughts on it, dream and write it.
These people, they're friends.  The possibilities are limitless, beyond what
we can foresee.
"In the past you were allowed a few mistakes."
--Mme Modl
a name for the chase

biology, chicory and sorrel

Shadows imply sight.  a larger unit but used like a preposition 

thrill;  source-light

portable trial

in the posthumous romance

upon a sore disjunction
the way they coexist
Another part of the island:
   Simply in order to rhyme
   eclipse with lips, in spite
   of Milton, as in hide

    the source of light
from shadows.  Dig or scare or reach for 
to read "catharsis"

the new extrapolation
(intrapolation) we are 
not waves on the surface 
of some divine ocean

Once more:
 1.  The desire to sleep for the music
 2.  responsibility for the empty bottles
 3.  no response or a busy signal
complete in themselves

solid the lens, dinner with
blindfold.  I must rewrite those
memories of my rural boyhood
blindness mis-taken for
Objectivity and brother Chance
excuses locked in their randy dance
blood flowing from elbow and foot

      We knew the place.  It was
a crossroads.  Tolls were collected there.  Eventually we burned our houses
and bridges behind us.  They erected a temple.  Nothing from that time is
visible now except for the ruined baths facing the river and the reconstructed
amphitheater on the eastern slopes.

street of the heart and 
the street crossing it

      The city was a quarry, then a fortress.  After his conversion he built a
great cathedral on the island.  Burnt to the ground.  Its foundations were
found.  Its situation on the river, its advantage, proved to be its undoing.
They met no resistance.  We kept the language.
gypsum, limestone, sandstone, sand
If at the time of Remonstrance
all a poet gives a philosopher is
the matchbox full of photographs,
pens of a prison, nothing happens
that every day breaks a new scene
poets making an equation between
ever memory and water, water
held the habits of objects
Give me the habits of objects
Me, I take his face
my version of a failed plot
scallop shell water portrait
shell of faces scratched out
of nothing but conclusions "they were
quiet exaggeration of the copy"
but you & me are going to seed
morons lost in eyelight
for having seen them
faces framed among their
faces, countenances
letting it dry on their cheeks
let it dry on your cheek
pressure of the assumed name
at your instep
The fourteen vernaculars, one 
the specter of this and one
the specter of "I cannot see it 
all at once"
The woman is speaking
   let it be a story
   a dress the color of fish
   the nature of advice
In this country, in this weather
that bush with holes was burning
Cannibals remember to eatall thought is made up
"and so I got up"
a revised picture of the author of the example of human life.  We had to look
to other sources to find out about ourselves. a cup with the image of a fan, a
woman's face looking out from behind it
"the lit boys just sat there"
tables of contents 
all tied up, the tiniest branch upon which will appear unexpected crystals
replacing all the potholes
vision is suspended motion also
such columns available syllables:  call Barbara, Amy, Evelyn, Betty of all
what you could know call Larry, Amy, ________
become the speaker of these eyeblue shoes
lines burnt up in stillness
free of circumstance


to see its shadow, like D.
in his wedding dress
   colors around her
   color surrounds her
Three arches through which are seen three more arches, ghost buildings not yet
in ruins...and the night sky.
specific universals
ruins, debris
[: Escape : ]
The space between becomes absolute.
Because the contrivance is made up of real things, the parts are greater, they
block the view.  A small girl in a green gown peeks out from behind the false
door.  In those days you drew directly onto paper.
or shadow "no less splendid"
Individuals fled.
drama or the sound of it
a filled in blank
the hangman's hope
scraping the horizon
figures in the small frame
known by the wrappers
maybe the rope will break
elixir London

undefined form or implicit
form from the air remembering 
the conversation in the wake of
dolphins and beauty

what photography would say 
to the sixteenth century about 
the way things are distributed 
on the surface:  A city can see!
or, I have lost the earth!

and knocked the Etruscan 
plate off the shelf.  A
set-up what substitutes
for rigor, a rock's decision
or the other way round.  To continue to build from the air.  Once upon a
redness of lips.  Once upon a stony stair.  Once upon a transposition,
juxtaposing the completely empty with the completely full thus making half
empty the half full
contribution to the suffering:  division in the same plane beside nothing, a
filled in blank, geese flying in formation over the bay, the space, the
concrete particular.
What was discretion then?
"one of us" (mis)taken for one of them
lines of flight, just a little
bit the same, the philosopher's
stylistic address, its green and
inarticulate shore
    no architect
no grand plan, universal debris
granite days 
or square miles
and new specs
That space
the buried form 
the same song
or a new song
He wants the words, the shapes, to make it easy for him, symbolic.  The sound
has a right.  "It may be or it may not be" that skin is betrayal, soldier.  It
can happen in your head, she said.  No it cannot, she thought.
"Please, Marie!"
who had been a sailor, to account for all those references.  An inner harbor
marked by pink granite columns.  A metaphysical foundry, senator, meaning is
your own affair.
It doesn't mean you can't still
use a pencil.


It doesn't mean you can't help
betrayal, senator.
Come with me from Lebanon, the present for the lost patch.  Sleep in the
sleigh, under the snow, the separable success of renunciation.  In the balance
of paper, finally set to rights, visibility of the stable figure in the
floating apartment.  Common right moves:  having fallen again under a series
of ropes and pulleys.  The double is the happy landscape.
"It was a dark and rainy night..."
"What's the playfield?"
It had never been so dark and shiny.  First the rain and then the trick with
rubber bands, slightly moist or lightly sweet silver in the dark, a little
truck painting neat blue lines across the floor

entered the garden, rain in the garden
-ly share a blue emblem
seen from the door
seen from the bathroom window
seen from the back
looking out at: hills, little red house, painted swing, cows or remembering it
was morning
seen from air
There's an echo in the body, there's the storm, there's the structure in the
dream of breath
Concern with
continuity is
a continuity
or lack
of it
saw it
and was it
landscape developed slowly
legible at moments the branchesher white teeth
You could see Spinoza in the
twin currents passing through
the Bosporus, visible, lighter water flowing from the Black Sea into the
Mediterranean, but the other, deeper, heavier water underneath pouring from
the Mediterranean into the Black Sea, 
like stock prices today, down in Asia, up in Mongolia, the ending of one
virtual cash flow the beginning of another
"making all this up."  in the obvious direction

"in fish language"


               evidence of the plumb line

You could sometimes see their thoughts, ruddy dusk, filtered light down the
hill.  Curlicues, she says, pointing into the corner.  We look there, not
seeing them.  Of light, she says.  Someone sends her a book, When Blindness
Comes, or If Blindness Comes, or It Comes.
On a day when your aim is true
multiplication, necessity

Once is exception or miracle.  Twice becomes a new object:  all of them, the
entire inseparable set.
because time is out there, eaten by light
against the city in the background
you sleep on the stepsand eat bad bread
It's all in the words, in someone
else's words:  To ______
truly in their care.  Take away
the forms that are known
"no one knows"
"we remain in the dark"
the oil poured out therefore
transparency becomes
no experience 
and so keep writing it
lyric is a continuous beginning
and again
"cut it out"
traffic in the form of a street
kind of atomizing and
unclaimed images, subjects
of fear and fascination
contingency: an aside
because time is this
column of air earned
by light
as if something more extended.  As such.
The error of whose book was this.  Can a fiction
write a fiction?
Attention's recursions, like proving the force of music, like a name
discovered among the eight words for desert, a fatal contingency or joke the
evocation of "the preposterous" last two months of imperceptible
a book ofthe uncommon
day(s) or night(s)
(and) said can
faith or fate
weave personal acts
of perception?
Arrival, Toledo, School of Translators
We went all over the city in our disguises, shards of glass or ice on your
face as you reclined in the open car.
finally a word
from the knuckle-
headed bird
"I urge you" please see 
a pile of 
clothes on the grass looking 
like a death's head "beau-
tiful, mysterious
hand-made, interesting
as it moves from the back
of the brain, called the occupied
recognition issues physical
separates, deviates from what?
from vagueness, complexity, to
exaggerated strangeness or
that which is absurd
strangeness is a method denies
continuation, separates like 
a glass chair seen from the table
under which the panther lies, snoring, dreaming "the most distant object
ever," stars and fractions called documents, so leave the piano quiet
At this very moment / when radio signals from / aliens are bombarding the /
earth and passing right / through my body
following the course more foregrounded than others, more a ruse, frequent
return to the City of Thought, "noumenal errancies" so I did this.  He wanted
to be called Thunder so I did this.
The landscape is 
the portrait of 
the sun.  Only 
skin is skin deep.
The synonym etc. at the end of enumeration.  The surface of space.  Anything
you like, she said.  Repetition of the non-identical.  But at a certain point
you have to say "Baudelaire."
local climate and 
look at it, The Return 
of Big Bird's estimate:  
how to get anyplace:  
the veil of reason 
well-centered, very 
fine and fresh, well 
centered and fine
except for slight 
tropical stain,

it looks monstrous, we
like its looks without
no sun, a predisposition
to play, original gum
undampened, the new
essentalism looks like
the old one we know
the truth about test
scores, branches,
receptors on thempower lines down
started out as a tube.
In laid finish, the lines
are set parallel, would 
speak in figures,"Sometimes
in the beginning, she doesn't 
know what shape they take."  
See events
not subject to government control

Errors are not rare 
but make them rare, for instance, "inverted center"
First Day
The last supper or sleep.  See
you later, maybe.

First Day Cancellation

First Day Cover
its units of interest not the
things in them.  The rise
of the eye.
   used, unused, covers
and blocks
(His greatest privacy to sit
and read the names of colors)
catalogue:  blue error
accidentally shut himself up
in the room only he could 
open, his throne was buried 
there in the street of little sticks.
There is just so much can be said about a color, for instance "green error of
A person loses the use of an eye while painting the first picture.
But does the barber shave himself?
events deprived of elaboration (one of them dated and stamped with the name of
the photographer)  
The frame stood, our
knowledge of them fell 
at which point you 
cut a rug, hold
that tiger
The subject is named for the street.
It is not that kind of sight.  From
an adjacent booth, "I'm a hopeful
romanticist."  Rediscovering intimacy
or the idled community, undone, her sweater 
on backwards "still hanging around"
in the niches of narrative.  The word 
plot alone can kill you.
Would you condemn a brick wall on the basis of its being overly theatrical?
Re:"Theatricality of a brick wall"
a moment ago we are both in
"I'm reading.  It's my job."
a gorgeous complicit print
Unlike personal photographs
it establishes [(re)opens?]
a moment we are both in
Thunder becomes slaughter, a disortion of signs, C-Charlie, H-Harry, O-Oliver,
U-Uncle, M--2 calls for Mimi Domingo this morning and one from Cleveland, the
readership at large, a polymer.  "I let him have it," the subject don't touch
me.  A tension in scale.
The word in someone
else's mouth, laborious 
elaboration of life
as a story, seamy, 
sometimes long, sometimes 
short, there
went a moment 
of directness 
proper name:  Consolation,
the world of inference
and these eyes of mine.
The person is not there and 
there are no footsteps.  There
you will find the pool that comes
from the spring of the sun.
a dead image of the blissful
get over it
The later it gets the worse it gets,  there's no guarantee
you won't lose that earring again,  "pleasant" on the sandbar, close at quiet
we say, knitting or something, the all-purpose model.
unison:  I go with the
There you are closer to it.  Entering through a keyhole of 
light.  Signs of the body.  At first I could not believe it.  Borders.  The
body of.  The land mass.
the story this time:  the unnumbered dark
She stands at the border, stranded.  "I didn't expect 
to see you here, suddenly, like this."
"because of the civil war," hands 
on the sprocket holes, areas
seen as dark thickenings

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