TRee Logo

Norma Cole:

Listening Chamber
2420 Acton St.
Berkeley CA, 94702

114 pp.

Norma Cole's writing is complicated, beautiful, straight to the heart and always about the mind. What the mind does. This book, in 6 sections, is about living, dying, loving--having lost, having done all those things, and its proof is its presence. The writing, often intricate, and moving from one form to another, conveys a thinking that is convoluted and deeply personal. And because the writing is so felt, the reader insists that the "sense" comes through, grants that it does, and moves on with the work. There is a pain in writing, or perhaps it's that all writing is a moving beyond tragedy. Cole, in this book, shows us that. A gorgeous cover collage by Jess makes this one of the most beautiful books, inside and out, that I've seen in awhile.--Jessica Grim

Norma Cole's MARS is a witness to the event, a coiled serpent ready to strike, danger under the surface of the words she propels. At differing times full of wisdom, a careful observer with a plain-speaking mode of address, or an abstracted voice (many voices here). MARS shows Cole's interest in critical theory as it informs a thread that increases the dimensional thrust accompanying concepts, every word mattering.--pg

Back to TapRoot Reviews homepage.

This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #5,
Copyright Burning Press 1994, 1996.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press