from “Distraction”

by Norma Cole

…a tendency toward silence

Paul Celan


When I was young, in Toronto, I used to listen to the radio, as I do now in San Francisco. There was a program the name of which I could not make out. Was it called “Maple Leaf Ballroom” or “Make Believe Ballroom”?


Waiting at the rehab, rereading the poem Cid Corman wrote for Anne-Marie Albiach. I read it on my phone, but if I had received it on paper in a letter, I would have brought it along.


but Jan, they’re French cows…


Although someone had clearly been responsible for building the tiny park between warehouses on the bay, no one was looking after it now. Looked after or not, there were some young trees, a walkway, small rocks lining it. Even so, no end to Monarch butterflies twirling in pairs, white herons and gulls, and some other smaller shore birds walking or standing in the ebb and flow.


UBFRAGD on a license plate. The man ran with his dog, then put him back in the truck and drove away.


* * *


Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. Please see her “Next Big Thing” interview for more info. Click here.

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