From the publisher: 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.
“Janaka Stucky is extraordinary, and his work riveting.” — Jimmy Page
“A dreamlike power” — Publishers Weekly
“Ascend Ascend is a passionate trance poem of praise, incantation and divination. It scries into the future with aspiration …” — Anne Waldman, author of Trickster Feminism
“A genuine return to a poetry of extasis, both in experience & in language. Breathtaking and wonderful, I’m truly delighted to add Ascend Ascend to my repertory of contemporary works.” — Jerome Rothenberg, editor of Technicians of the Sacred
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press, Black Ocean. In 2015 Jack White’s Third Man Records launched a new publishing imprint, Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. Other books include Your Name Is The Only Freedom, and The World Will Deny It For You. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is also a two-time National Haiku Champion.