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City Lights Spotlight #01: Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008


City Lights Spotlight #01: Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 Cover




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Where Shadows Will

by Norma Cole

Imaginations law hits frames

times air delivers to few an aside

so and so also

to speak of these footsteps is

to fear is to be able

Volume is written with straightedge and compass and hydraulics

leaving equations of uncharted sex of space and geometry aside in-

stead remap one jeweled curve reassembled encircled sweet mild

rainy cold dry windy all the bones save those of theory of possibility

Remain silent enjoyment airs of my heart born of vertices impact

stone margin the crown of proportion lodges a smile in the limited

path of a thing in a vacuum

Fingertips stapled to a tree trunk don’t look down at the lake notes

the song to silver in your mouth some moth arbitrarily contriving

numbers more bound meteorological assumptions consumed by de-

lay not

Fells the higher things international memory of probability and for-

get it sitting by water the moss was moving like animals volumes

gold for smoke all objects show release the leaves clacked together

Is obvious process releasing scent so grew homeless absorbed into

greater supposed detail belief by water now all those stanzaic dots

rock vacancy looking for inevitable spacing by leaf my water senti-

mental several directions I know I’ve been told

Elements as ridge has foot fools heat up traced out by motion the way

they are all clipped together the fog cool dogeared it spotted with

sparkles of light its heels

Swing like all objects fade away floored from dearth sounds mis-

nomer gully full of restless still mottled by water mumble little inte-

gers their inordinate shadow cools

You have to spit over your left shoulder if you see a magpie trip or

waltz or stay within the boulder hemicycle to see where shadows will

Too many arches stuck conditions merely flattened dearly local and

then a number of face off first recognition or limbs seniority also had

a forked stick of my own turn

That finally detached and walked away trembling too even as things

kept moving to gag the breeze of influence in sun this time as the

rivers rhyme the usual

Numbers expanded by adjectives hung from trees stop them after a

few centuries archers struck shadow kitchens strange waltzes or un-

marked generalities replaced by do you know where our letters

Continuing presidents empty gravy presumption and then a number

architecturally buttering them beside each other with spaces in be-

tween to spit out of the shapes idea


Numbs together old otherwise

conditions verified dressed and beaten

sit and lie down reliance

understand personally nothing

Was always a little

finishing units

Industrial chunking: two abstract

and one concrete or was it too concrete

and one abstract

That summers versions sweep through torn on vacant tempers care

heads made out of wax knock down the house sets afresh a flood of

flowers emitting more or less reality sustaining closely free from film

and fever few engendered “fair”

Rooms vivid acts in solution as part of the problem founded on ce-

ment asleep on principle mind in eye spurs a matter of little sense

though learning knowing experience contending for rights mounts

the arduous steeps strong money her placed

Fever and glowing gorge speculate immediate delay sweep through

Product Details

Cole, Norma
City Lights Books
American - General
Single Author / American
General Poetry
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
City Lights Spotlight
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.1 x 5.5 x 0.4 in 5 oz

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City Lights Spotlight #01: Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 Used Trade Paper
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Product details 120 pages City Lights Books - English 9780872864740 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "For the inaugural volume in its new Spotlight series, a sequel to City Lights' famous Pocket Poets line (in which Ginsberg's Howl first appeared), the publisher has chosen this retrospective collection by San Francisco poet Cole. A disciple of Robert Duncan, Cole casts her short poems in jagged verse and prose blocks, by turns abstract ('Imaginations law hits frames'), surreal ('Bark grew up over their faces') and painterly in a manner that will be familiar to fans of Barbara Guest: 'This is the image of effort.' Other pieces work more like disjunctive fables: one such prose poem describes how 'A little of life simply escapes from a shallow dish.' Cole is far better known on the West Coast and in experimental poetry circles than anywhere else; in fact, her work is surprisingly accessible given its avant garde origins and ambitions — beautiful phrases and lines leap off the page ('Then his/ signature will have taken place,' reads one poem) — and this concise gathering of poems from her 15 small press books should bring Cole much deserved attention. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "For me, a fluid lyricism is the glue in these ever-morphing, syntactically scintillating fountains: 'all clipped together the fog cool dogeared it spotted with sparkles of light its heels.' . . . We are freed from narrative and delivered to the telling where 'something blinked back.' The work is heroic an 'epic without story.' Above all, 'the poem is a toy' and Cole, an ideal playmate. Abandon despair all ye who enter here. 'Verily, kiddo.'" - Jeffrey Cyphers Wright,
"Review" by , "Some poets have a wide library of works, and you'll miss the brightest gems unless you look really closely. Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 takes the best of Norma Cole's work from over twenty years, and places it all in one collection as part of City Lights' Spotlight series. An excellent collection to start the series with, Where Shadows Will is a poetry reader's delight." - James A. Cox,
"Review" by , "Cole's verse ranges vastly in form and subject, with a large selection of prose poems. Her dialogue with contemporary French poetry is especially evident . . . Even with a half-hearted listen, it’s easy to tell that Cole’s poetry is different. Where Shadows Will offers only the beginning of an introduction, a whetting of the palate." -
"Review" by , "Compatriot of a whole generation of French poets whose names are legion--Roubard, Hocquard, Claude-Royet, Collobert--Norma Cole is one of contemporary poetry's quintessential radicals; such a thing is thought beyond these shores. That her new book, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 (City Lights books, 2009), confirms this beyond doubt. It seems a document of the intense skirmishes at the beginning of time, when tone was utterly impersonal, maximally capacious....Always political (seldom yet knowingly politicized, as in "'I Saw Shells...'") in its refusal to yield to the demands of a more strident poetics, her work is of a paradoxically pleasant and thoroughgoing antinomian difficulty. It hasn't given up on any ground gained." -David Lau,
"Review" by , "Shadows demonstrates the continuity of [Cole's] efforts from poem to poem, book to book, year to year. . . [The collection] crystallizes questions from throughout Cole's career: to what extent is personal experience shared or universal, and what, exactly, is our 'backyard,' anyway? Ancient Egypt? The modern-day Congo? The entire solar system?" — Chris McCreary,
"Synopsis" by ,
First volume of new series, City Lights Spotlight: selected poems by a major avant-garde woman poet.
"Synopsis" by , Poetry. The first installment of our new Spotlight poetry series, WHERE SHADOWS WILL selects from twenty years of innovative writing by Bay Area poet, translator, and visual artist Norma Cole. Beginning with her earliest collection, Mace Hill Remap, and taking us up through her recent NATURAL LIGHT, WHERE SHADOWS WILL is a comprehensive overview of Cole's melodic and experimental poetry, whose shadow-haunted landscapes embody a theory-informed exploration of the relationship between language, self, and world. By turns severe and exuberant, WHERE SHADOWS WILL confirms Cole's place as a major avant-garde poet and a leading voice among contemporary innovative women writers.
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