Street Date: 04/23/2019
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.
“Janaka Stucky is extraordinary, and his work riveting.” —Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin
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.
“A dreamlike power” — Publishers Weekly
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.
“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