Written over the course of twenty days coming in and out of trance states while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church, ASCEND ASCEND is rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of Hekhalot literature. While traditional Hekhalot prose trends dry, Stucky uses poetry to touch the ineffable. Equal parts Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” this long poem documents the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.
Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press, Black Ocean. Other books include The Truth Is We Are Perfect, 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. More at janakastucky.com.