Three Poems by Will Alexander

From the Collection Divine Blue Light (for John Coltrane)

November 17, 2022  By Will Alexander

On Eroded Solar Masses

Say each eroded molecular cloud
contained uncountable solar masses
not typical but density per cubic centimeter
welling up across a million years
never speaking of the highest suns through a totem of errors
but totem
taking from density no known error
alive as pattern
as irrational ascension
sans squared impalpable quanta
its implacable winds
teeming sub-flow as absentia

Original Language

As a blizzard of birds
as Hottentots
as density by phonemes

Borderless Hypotactic

Not strategic salvo by mass
or ultra sonic compendium as confine
but simultaneity alive
as unpredictable dys-function
akin to itself as borderless hypotactic


Excerpted from Divine Blue Light (for John Coltrane) by Will Alexander. Copyright © 2022. Available from City Lights.

Will Alexander
Will Alexander
Born in 1948 in Los Angeles, Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist, and musician. He has published over two dozen books in a variety of genres and has earned many honors and awards including a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry, a California Arts Council Fellowship, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize. He has also exhibited his artwork in group and solo shows. His work is known for its visionary, oracular surrealism and the influence of Negritude. Among his publications are Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021/Granta, 2022), which was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, The Combustion Cycle (Roof, 2021), Across the Vapor Gulf (New Directions, 2017), and The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009). His book Compression & Purity (2011) was volume five in the City Lights Spotlight Poetry Series. He is currently the poet-in-residence at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. He has lived his entire life in Los Angeles.

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