Kaleidoscopic Omniscience

Will Alexander

edited by Daniel Staniforth

 

Kaleidoscopic Omniscience is a new collection from lingual contortionist and poetic sage Will Alexander, featuring his early works – Asia & Haiti, The Stratospheric Canticles, and Impulse & Nothingness. Alexander’s prismatic and oracular voice cascades around bi-geographic confrontations, painterly morphologies, and the cosmology of the void.

 

“No subject seems alien to him: Who else would write a poem on the death of Enver Hoxha? Who else would attempt to inhabit the brain of an animal in ecological catastrophe?  Who else could spin a book-length poem from the verb ‘to paint’? – a poem that not only ranges through the history of world art, but which is an extended meditation on the way seeing is transformed by the chemical compounds of paint into vision.”

– Eliot Weinberger, Sulfur

 

“... multiplicity, simultaneity, collapsing of interior/exterior boundaries, restless migratory intelligence ... An uncancelled wavering and a ‘brimstone fire’ of focus, unflinchingly alert to the vast sentient suffering, also to the astonishing resourcefulness and the yet unimagined forms of life on this planet at the edge of the Milky Way.”

– Jonathan Skinner

 

“[Alexander is] acutely conscious of the issue of poetic voice, and is unwilling to let poetry’s potential for ventriloquizing or exploring the voices of others be subsumed in an impersonal écriture or ultimately homogenous montage. He seems as well interested in the spiritual dimension of poetry, especially in the degrees to which poetry can give us access to spiritual or emotional states beyond those we normally experience.”

– Mark Scroggins, American Book Review

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.”