Ascend Ascend

Ascend Ascend


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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 equal parts Walt Whitman and Maggot Brain, documenting the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997457834
Publisher: Third Man Books
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Pages: 88
Sales rank: 337,511
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Janaka Stucky is a mystic poet, performer, and founding editor of the award-winning press, Black Ocean. In 2015 Jack White’s Third Man Records launched a new publishing imprint, Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, "The Truth Is We Are Perfect," as their inaugural title. Other books include "Your Name Is The Only Freedom," and "The World Will Deny It For You." He has performed in over 60 cities around the world and 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

Pam Grossman is the host of The Witch Wave podcast and author of Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power.

Read an Excerpt

[Excerpt from ASCEND ASCEND by Janaka Stucky]

I ascend with agony caparisoned by poppies
By black stars and the shivering
Tissue of vice

I ascend with agony
Drinking fever
Drinking storms
My storms
Drinking storms
I ascend

Into the sky like a bronze gate
I ascend

Sky like a roofless church
With birds of flame
Perched along its rim I ascend

Sky like great teeth of the sea
Rabid with lilacs of foam I ascend

Sky like a blade
Of light cutting
The umbilical cord of I I ascend

Sky like primordial honey
I ascend

Sky like mellifluous rot
I ascend

Sky like a garden
Dug with the white edge of a scream I ascend

Sky my dark wings beating
The fountain the flood
That comes before the abyss

I ascend

I ascend
My sky my hour my night
My gleaming needle haloed ascending

I ascend

Sky like the death of juniper
Quivering in the clitoral spell of sleep

Sky that wakes like acacias
Blind from the cradled soil

Sky like a great and boundless longing
Setting fire to itself ascending

I ascend
I ascend

I ascend with agony a blackbird egg
Hatching in the alcove of a lion’s jaw

I ascend with agony devoured and spiraling
Upwards into countless crowns

I ascend with agony summoning
A plague of flowers white blood swirling

From their indestructible glistening
Cheeks I ascend

I ascend with agony lifted alone
By the memory of milk I ascend

I ascend with agony my guillotine
Of laughter raised high above
The neck of the wind ascending

I ascend

I ascend through an omega
Of astonishment

I ascend with agony carved from the wind by
The knife that bears my sign

I ascend with agony
In the solstice of humiliation

I shall love
I shall love
I shall love

I ascend in the bright flame of marigolds

I shall love
I shall love

I ascend

Table of Contents

Foreword i

I Assiah, the Material World 3

II Yetzirah, the World of Formation 19

III Approaching the First Veil 33

IV The First Veil 37

V Beri'ah, the World of Creation 41

VI The Abyss 55

VII Atziluth, the Archetypal World 59

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Stucky’s raw works … give a dreamlike power to an antinomian religion of erotic love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stucky’s verse has the power of the best East European poets—some of his poems seem to be perfect, magnificent, and instantly anthologizable. He is a forceful, cogent, incisive phrase-maker.” —Bill Knott, author of I Am Flying into Myself: Selected Poems, 1960-2014

“He pulls from Eastern religious texts, mysticism, and the occult, and casts dirty, hallucinatory images onto graceful lines” —Kenyon Review

"Ascend Ascend by Janaka Stucky appears to me to be a genuine return to a poetry of extasis, both in experience & in language. If so, I take it as no trivial thing: a work of poesis to set beside the procedural works that are at the core of much of our current writing – my own included. In Stucky’s fuller account: 'Ascend Ascend was 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. It is rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of merkabah literature, documenting an ascent up the kabbalistic sefirot to witness the chariot of god.' While far from my own practice the results (to be published by Third Man Books in April) are remarkable enough as poetry. —Jerome Rothenberg

"ASCEND ASCEND is a passionate trance poem of praise, incantation and divination. It scrys into the future with aspiration, resonant with the Kabbalistic Merkabah tradition of ascension to Serifot, the chariot of god. Who is this god? It is genderless presence, a kinetic force, a future perhaps, redolent with mystic speed and entheogen magic. The language flies out,wildly evocative, untethered. One is grateful, in these imperiled times, for such forceful ritual and invocation: 'Every word along the way / Lit like a flame upon/ The wick of its origin.'" — Anne Waldman

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