Sunday, May 28, 2006

Beginning again

“Yesterday’s tomorrow is not today.” [Lawrence Alloway, from The Independent Group]

anonymous vigilance is the state of the mother” [Norma from “Ruth” in Mars]

(and later) “how they refer to each other”

“For it is who that appears and disappears” [me, from “Gone Again” in Self- Destruction]

Your work predicts my life

as wife and mother and father

farther than the bride of the day

that decays beneath our feet

wears the world away

The map is apparent

a firm permeability

identified as your chance (stance)

“The definition of the Independent Group in British art history is not much like the lived experience of being involved in the group at the time, for individual profiles get dissolved in a bath of similarities, but there are verifiable factors.” [Alloway, ibid]

“lyric is a continuous beginning
again” [Norma, “Spinoza in Her Youth”]

A genealogy of readings takes unexpected turns as the reader (writer) follows her desire (you are following her) (and she yours).

“and again
‘cut it out’” [Norma, Spinoza]

verifiable factor:

“It then – It – abandon of the impersonal – of the infinitive – at last resigned – to embody – with flesh in pain – to embody like the thumbnail – It then” [Danielle Collobert, It Then translated by Norma]

or being an artist one might make

instead of say or having said

one might write

verifiable factor:

Born in the immediate post world war at the same time as the aforementioned movement into a movement of one’s own from place to person to form. A lot about faces. About face. Formal attributes are noticeable and yet count for nothing compared to love.

“How privileges eat form. Transgressive responsibility.” [from Mars]

Skip the explanation and go directly to go. Just go.

Stand back
Look out

“How can it not know what it is?" [Norma, quoting Bladerunner]

“(what letter is not a love
letter?)” [from Spinoza]

“I begin again exactly as when before claiming
So then as I say I begin I began again” [me, from Rondeaux]

““ for Laura ‘all the colors silently’
with much love

[dedication written into Mars by Norma, quoted by me in A Tonalist]

“There is constant action and the action is in us.” [Norma, from At All]


This is my introduction to Norma Cole’s reading last night for the Artifact series in San Francisco. My reference to the Independent Group in it relates to what Norma read (new work from Pluto) and to her book At All written for Tom Raworth who was influenced by this movement in British art. She read with Melissa Benham and Mary Burger whose readings were both very well received.(David Brazil made an eloquent introduction for Melissa and Jay Schwartz suavely introduced Mary.) The success of this house series causes getting across the small living room to be much like playing a game of Twister, providing one with an ideal opportunity to get really up close and personal with the scene. The digital paparazzi were hard at work so I imagine there are images of the event floating around out there. This picture of Norma and I was taken a year ago on the last day of Norma’s installation "Collective Memory" The installation was part of the Poetry Center show at the California Historical Society. At All is a lovely chapbook, the first from Brent Cunningham and Neil Alger's Hooke Press. It can be had by contacting Brent Cunningham.

Laura Moriarty & Norma Cole


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