Ascend Ascend

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

Writ­ten over the course of twen­ty days com­ing in and out of trance states brought on by inter­mit­tent fast­ing and somat­ic rit­u­als while seclud­ed in the tow­er of a 100-year-old church, Ascend Ascend is Jana­ka Stucky’s most pow­er­ful book to date. Root­ed in the Jew­ish mys­ti­cal tra­di­tion of Hekhalot lit­er­a­ture, which chron­i­cles an ascent up the Kab­bal­is­tic Tree of Life to wit­ness the Merk­abah or char­i­ot of God,” this book-length poem drafts a sur­re­al mytho­log­i­cal land­scape in which max­i­mal­ist lan­guage shreds the nat­ur­al world. 

Light becomes rain­bowed sex. Intestines tan­gle into an aria. The sky is gal­lowed. At the cen­ter of this apoc­a­lyp­tic dev­as­ta­tion stands the speak­er of these poems assert­ing: I explode. I shall love. I ascend. Stucky’s verse reminds us that even as we sink deep­er and deep­er into unknown dark­ness, we become our own flash­light beam­ing out­ward. Equal parts Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s Mag­got Brain,” Ascend Ascend makes us both pas­sen­ger and wit­ness as we par­tic­i­pate in the ecsta­t­ic destruc­tion of the self through its union with the divine.

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