Diary As Sin

Will Alexander

 

“I am not of one persona, not of one mystery, but arrayed with intransigent neurons and timings. … I’ve splintered my own trajectory from a fissioning of threats which have issued from my great monomial leprosy. Which has created in me a raw ascensional vastitude, allowing me further millennia although the bodies about me will all have been destroyed. Because I speak out of blindness I am able to respond to spiritual extremity, which has transmuted dearth and soulless nightmare relations. Of course I am speaking from auto-causality, from an enriched alkaline insurrection, altricial, haunted, partaking cacophony from the cinders of nauseous aeronautics. Because I am Mexican and Seminole I breed schisms, I breed eloquent ransacking laws.”

 

Diary as Sin is the powerful and evocative story of a sand-blind girl, Rosanna Galvez. Confined to a private Catholic home in New Mexico, she unveils her beginnings as an incest baby – and moves through the odyssey beyond – with powerful incantatory language. Through poetic and often painful recall, Rosanna weaves a diary that will spellbind the reader with its imagistic and visionary prowess. Alexander cites Beckett, Bernhard and Goytisolo as an “ancestral trilology” for the work, living up to his forebears with some aplomb.

 

Will Alexander is known to the literary world as the avant garde poet that continually defies easy classification. Though a Los Angeles native, his work more resembles Breton, Paz, Cesaire, or Gascoyne more than anything in contemporary US poetics. Even such comparisons are glib as Alexander is that rare voice that must be experienced in its own right. For Andrew Joron he is “the fiery trickster leaping between frozen and fragmented realia, the universal translator of the multitude of tongues (both human and inhuman) emitted by the Signal of signals.” For Harryette Mullen he is “a poet whose lexicon, a ‘glossary of vertigo,’ might be culled from the complete holdings of a reconstituted Alexandrian library endowed for the next millennium.” For Nathaniel Mackey his “thicketed prose advances lexical ignitions of astounding angle and amplitude.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Will Alexander is a poet and visionary who has dazzled and confounded the American poetry scene for a number of years. The most obvious categorisation is to place him in the imported Surrealist tradition that has been filtered to the American public through such literary dynamos as Aimé Cesaire, Octavio Paz, Philip Lamantia,  Bob Kaufman, all of whom are often cited by Alexander as being influential. Will Alexander is also a dramatist, novelist, musician, and philosopher. His most direct ties to American culture are found in the world of Jazz, particularly the work of post-bop visionaries, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy. About this  lineage he has written: “It made me feel that I had allies, that there were others who knew that the material world was completely permeable, and that none of the rationally stated boundaries could contain the imaginal.”

“Celestial fire modulates through neon fields and aches throughout the lathe of space, animated into dynamic magnetism and psychedelic constellations. Vision explodes through planetary energy as dimensions shift invisibly. Will Alexander is a phenomenal and singular poet, a poet who allows me to leave the abyss of pedestrian sensation and enter a state of mind that thrills me with his animated breath…”

— Chris Moran, HTML Giant