Will Alexander

from The Ganges

…since I exist as spore
as soldier of the intransigent
I contain as my essence no political sarcasm no model as extracted from 8 billion corpses

the Dharmasala* does not know me

does this mean I eat water
or soak my bread in various inks
or bake as my ointment excretion from bricks?

does this mean
that my skills are surreptitious
& persist by melancholia?

am I intangible embryonics
or ascetic exposure at the sunrise of kilns?

let me address such ascetic state as fervour

as supreme toil
as instigational pneumonics
as spent wood
as abrasive schist

yet to Rama & the Brahmins*
I rank less than an owl
I rank less than particles from basins

I am banned by withdrawal
by a series of stains due to partisan disclosure
to tampered spells
to exclusion voiced through tainted opinion

if I held a log by the strength of three fingers
if I broke a stone by the thinking in my heart
Indra* would deny me
bringing baneful gifts by means of staggered feeling

to Indra
I am a cleft eye
blistered limbs
neurotic tornadoes

he would give me none of the merits of birth
none of the wonders reaped by ingestion only me as result by staggering inclemence

as Shudra*
as remnant outside the main
as remnant outside a palace of hoaxes

so ringing a bell with my eyes
by describing the world through inverted verbalics I arrive at nothing other than death as seeming expansion

I am not fighting from neurotic view
mixing chaos with chaos
dye infested

imposition has been placed upon me
exteriorized branding falsely inflicted
as candour

& these wounds
not only inflicted according to turbulent gain
but by all the minerals brewed by contiguous reason
which seeks to haunt
to clarify response through vernacular didactics

what I say contains no social script
no postures carved on a-priori porcelain
nor weight erected by extrinsic hexagrammatics through integer
so there never exists within me self-destructive structure
nor a privately hexed coronation

as Shudra
this is treasonous instruction
which simulates law by surreptitious invasion

perhaps I am teaching the poignant skill of corruption
or perhaps a treaty on insidious menace

let me evince as Shudra
on the germination of flaw & misnomer:

let me digress
let me come to the point of embittered declaration
of foils
of condensed & strewn example

first: blackened conjugal marks
disfigured striving
blazing social illegality

at next remove:
kinship broken
the general given marred
the Sun no longer witnessed
by the power of astute        example

as penultimate phrasing: black remarks
ill-begotten lanterns
bodies stored & restored
as movement by ashes…

Artist’s Statement

This fragment from The Ganges is a particle of a larger work entitled The Combustion Cycle, which includes two other very large works. One is entitled Concerning The Henbane Bird, and the other, On Solar Physiology. The former is enunciated by the second largest hummingbird on Earth, the Andean Hillstar, and the latter, by an Angolan Shaman. The Ganges is empowered by the voice of an Untouchable, and operates via hyper-dimensional language. The Combustion Cycle is a book of indigenous consciousness, with its European element functioning at a more ancillary level.


Dharmasala: Buddhist rest-house for pilgrims

Rama: Hindu deity, embodiment of chivalry and virtue

Brahmins: class of wealth and privilege

Indra: Hindu guardian deity

Shudra: an Untouchable

hexgrammatics: coined term. In this context unwieldy grammar of number.

Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, aphorist, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist. He has authored over 30 books in the above-mentioned genres and is a Whiting Fellow, a California Arts Council Fellow, an Oakland PEN and American Book Award recipient. In 2016 he won the Jackson Prize for poetry.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.