Vulnerability of Order by Martine Bellen

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Wildness and disorder. Martine Bellen's third collection of poetry taps into the chaotic and irrepressible spirit which inspires artistic expression. Whether exploiting philosophical fragments from ancient Greece or penetrating the rituals of the great world religions, Bellen is in search of a model through which artists might organize the expansiveness of the human spirit.

"Bellen is a sensualist with a taste for vernacular as refined as C.D. Wright's…—Bellen's giddy, insouciant renderings of our thickly mythic polis seem fresh, and appear to create their author from the tactile fragments of the text."—Publishers Weekly

Martine Bellen's Tales of Murasaki won the 1999 National Poetry Series Award. She lives in New York.

For the Saturday Evening Girls' Pottery Club

Please, oh please, spread something sweet
Over my shredded wheat

That rests upon this yellow plate,
fired in its biscuit state.

Mystic swastika hands abound,
Fortune, luck, well-being found,

And bowls with bands of ducks
and trees, ring around the ABCs.

Hand-thrown pots incised in ink;
Still-soft clay initials sink.

Please, today, come sip some tea
with small designs, each cup's jolie,

The harmony lies not in line
But deeper in the object's rhyme.

Magic Musee for Joseph Cornell


She, who's overconscious of her cage
Formed from heat, moisture, frost, concealment,

How it drips, freezes, fogs
How it forms columnar cracks gashed with glass

Toward the blue peninsula, gravity flight
The visible half of reflection

Attempting to obtain the solidity of an object

Or to remove the clothing of sound, genealogical anxiety,
Disrobing at the hotel Eden

Inventing a way in
To that which is built over concept



Too far away to be
seen singly, they come

Together. The coat-wearing
People. They come

On floating isles. Carry
Thunder sticks. They look

For back seas where clove
And mulberry grow. They come

From beyond the gr


About Martine Bellen

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Martine Bellen is the author of the novella 2X(SQUARED) (BlazeVOX Books, 2010) and seven collections of poetry, including GHOSTS! (Spuyten Duyvil, 2011), THE VULNERABILITY OF ORDER (Copper Canyon Press, 2001); FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE MONKEY GOD (Spuyten Duyvil); TALES OF MURASAKI AND OTHER POEMS (Sun & Moon Press, 1999), which won the National Poetry Series Award; and PLACES PEOPLE DARE NOT ENTER (Potes & Poets Press, 1991). A bilingual collection of her poetry has been published in Germany by Verlag im Waldgut (translator, Hans Juergen Balmes). She has written the libretto forOvidiana, an opera based on Ovid's Metamorphoses (composer, Matthew Greenbaum) that has been performed in New York City and Philadelphia. She has collaborated with David Rosenboom on Ah! Opera No-Opera, a pioneering collective work, that's been co-composed and performed by creators from around the globe. Its world premiere was in September 2009 at Redcat in Los Angeles. She was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation residency in Bellagio, Italy, as well as an American Academy of Poets Award.
Published June 1, 2001 by Copper Canyon Press. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Playful, linguistically nuanced and jaggedly jazzed, the poems of Bellen's third collection come at an old philosophical problem with the very latest aesthetic tools.

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