The Vulnerability of Order

Martine Bellen

Martine Bellen’s third poetry collection taps into the irrepressible and often chaotic spirit which inspires artistic expression. With her swirling, luxuriant images, Bellen explores philosophical fragments from ancient Greece, religious rituals, the lives of historical women who transgressed the perceived boundaries of femininity. Here is slave-turned-activist Sojourner Truth holding court with Abraham Lincoln; here are Pocahontas, Calamity Jane, the outlaw Belle Starr, and Lola Montez, who, after becoming the Queen of Bavaria lit out for the gold rush of the American Frontier. Each woman has her poem and each poem arcs to the others, creating an electric portrait of life’s possibilities.
Erratum: Copper Canyon Press printed an incorrect credit to the artist whose work appears on the cover of
The Vulnerability of Order. The image on the cover is “untitled (butterflies and braids),” 1994, by Gregory Crewdson, courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, NY. Our apologies for any confusion this caused.

ISBN: 9781556591570

Format: Paperback

from “Magic Musée”

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

About the Author

Martine Bellen is the author of nine collections of poetry, including Ghosts! (Spuyten Duyvil Press); The Vulnerability of Order (Copper Canyon Press); Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press), which won the National Poetry Series Award; and the novella 2X(Squared). Her most recent collection is This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil Press). She wrote the libretto for Ovidiana, an opera based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, composed by Matthew Greenbaum and performed in New …

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“An extraordinary achievement.” —Ann Lauterbach

“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.” —Publishers Weekly

“A unique, immediate collection whose identities proliferate into ever wilder, ever more distinctive words. One of the best you’ve ever published!” —Donald Revell, from a “Reader Response” card

The Vulnerability of Order is an engaging, philosophically resonant book, one as intriguing in its disconnections as in its connections.” —Rain Taxi