The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2019

All Issues
MAY 2019 Issue


for Marina Adams

“How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?”
Nina Simone

Generator of shapes and rhythmic gestures
like going for a walk in the Alhambra, the pearl
of essential convergence set in tessellated emerald and cobalt tiles

Or the luminous blue corn on the mesa, where obsidian hair of an unmarried Hopi
woman is a butterfly, squash blossom or anemone
tepals at the approach of rain, perceptual divination and clear

Attention, white, pink, chromium green and coral, murex, indigo,
saffron windflower, thimbleweed, of the buttercup family
with long lobed or parted or undivided leaves

“What works in me is…ancient survivals”
Robert Duncan

Anemones sprang out of the tears of Aphrodite momently
mourning the death of her lover Adonis, every year the river
runs red, anemone from anemos, the winds, Aurora’s sons

Άνεμοι, anemoi, I Venti, their cardinal directions
syncretic protection against evil and ill wishes
the simple circle, the dancing spiral galaxies of stars and dust

Edge and line drawing the rhythm of time, current and breaking, existence
intention embodies—brilliant fierce dynamic exuberance
mind as idea of the body, interoception, startled and aware

of seascape, skyscape, remembering a piece of the planet
the assembled heart, infinite determination as blue-skinned countenance
Krishna, a flute in his hand, protecting humanity

“Light will gather…in this array of colors”
Anne-Marie Albiach

Ultramarine, true and long lasting
anticipation, the rainbow prism
image of the sun

Light, the healing awakening rainbow body
steps over the threshold


Norma Cole

Norma Cole is a poet, translator and visual artist. Recent works include a book of poetry, FATE NEWS (2018), and a film, At the Turning Bridge (2019). She lives in San Francisco.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2019

All Issues