AMP. Always Electric.

Volume 2, No. 1

Woven Mandala

Woven Mandala—Gate 1

When she died, she expected she’d be in an unknown location: How surprised she was
to be in Flushing, Queens. How surprised to be in a cave in Crete

How surprising to be in the subway. And with a large seeing-eye dog. So surprised to be
asleep on stage with a dead audience. To be in an Alice Notley poem

Sky Walker, Sky Dancer—the one who moves space, the one who protects roots

Slip off the edge of the shore, off the edge-land, slip through permeable skin, into sleep
and out the other breath

The way one might slip into another’s life. The way one is pulled by a slipstream. The
way one slips into a rip, detrital matter streeling as shards of castoff shells

The way one might slip into a silk slip, into an equatorial ocean, into an aquarium or
quantum poetry that acts as an electromagnetic Taser

In the arms of so much density, she’s always in a state of slipping, shipping away

Onto the island with glass woods. Thick foliage chiming the wind

Without Einstein’s theory of gravity, there is not much to hold her to earth (How long
might she remain here, relatively that is)

How surprising it was to be in Flushing, Queens, atop the Himalayas, thrown into a
sweet sky burial, dancing beside a blue rat on a red lotus.


Woven Mandala—Gate 2

Edges of meadows, swamplands, shores, and luminarias: liminal lees

Some island in the middle of the night, plangent beach with rolling, moaning, haunted
waves

Spelling something out, spilling it. It’s trying to reach you through entrancing spells,
through entrances

Night sky shaking with stars. Shaking its starry fist

How images are hung in the galaxy so viewers can’t come too close. Look around the
gallery. Gaze into the mirror’s glaze

Cassiopeia haunts the celestial dance pole; Puss laps at the frozen Milky Way, softserve;
the wizard’s mind as a dolphin

To break or fragment. To fly. To die. Flee

Cerise Cereus, nocturnal desert rose. Hear its archipelago call. Those who gather around it
contain many islands. And stretches of sea

The lost island buoyed by a moon’s tide, by the dream of escaping selves and elves and
slaves

When one wishes on a flower, on a flame of a candle dripping lace on an iced cupcake,
when one wishes into the fresh water of a fountain, copper with koi and pennies. The full
moon dips in. Ripples a puddle

In the six directions, the four winds, five elements. Parallax planes emerge, parallel plans
converge.


Woven Mandala—Gate 3

One may catch feline ennui from sleek scarves worn too tight around the jugular

One may catch cloudy when one feels put upon by the whims of the wind

One may catch loose leaf

One may catch one’s death

One needs to know one’s location each light-second so one can cast a heart line at
any moment—a way out of the weave, a way home

If one is allotted one phone call. If one racks one’s brains for the right number. The
combination. A connection

As a way of escape, one might evolve into a nightingale’s lament, a honey bear’s
overwinter, the hummingbird’s torpor

A dyslexic anorexic can easily fall through the cracks, arrive in the China of pre-
memory

If she is a female, she was born with a pop-up book that has instructions on the
label written in Chinese, French, English, and Glass—each argot subtly unique and
must be precisely followed through the woods

A herd of humans. A herd of hands. They heard and gathered

When one falls through the cracks and arrives in India

If you see your waking face as you’re walking your face, read the label and take as
directed. Don’t enter an out-of-order language or hum an averse verse.  


Woven Mandala—Gate 4

The way one slips out of one’s body, slips into ether, merges with ocean, air … knits a floating
container to contain her, a floating world

An eye floater, eye opener, an opening onto an avowal

When “I” falls asleep and tumbles into “she”

Remember the question is returned to sender if not claimed  

Tending wayfarers and foxes. Tending earth and Mars

Remember the word question, from quaerere, denotes to seek

If one loses one’s narrative thread, one is revolving without gravity

If one loses time, one loses self

Now that we selfie ourselves, the emergencies ensue within

The emergence—see!

Remember the question is relative and subjective. Remember a question is interactional,
relational, interracial

We sail a broken ship through water of glass, awaken eight hours later, cut and forgotten,
floating off, slipping

Slivers of dew.  Blades of grass. Shards of star

When under the heavy body of dream, serpentine Time might immobilize us with venom, spit us
through the trapdoor. We’re out. . .

Run!

Where there’s no Time signal, dial tone

Slide!

Safe. Free.

Martine Bellen

Martine Bellen is the author of nine collections of poetry, including This Amazing Cage of Light: New and Selected Poems (Spuyten Duyvil), The Vulnerability of Order (Copper Canyon Press) and Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems (Sun & Moon Press), which won the National Poetry Series Award. She has collaborated with David Rosenboom on “Ah! Opera No-Opera” and Zhang Er and Stephen Dembski on the monodrama opera “Moon in the Mirror.” “Moon in the Mirror” will be performed at Bard College this spring, 2017. Bellen is the recipient of a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation at the Bellagio Center.