Coping Prana

By Will Alexander b. 1948 Will Alexander
It is the way I breathe
through chronic terrifying ferns
through a black ungracious stoma

it is this uranium rejoinder
this impact pointing backwards

& when witnessed
causes observers to panic
to blur
& forget
& to flee

they can’t see my approach
my wayward dorsal looming
my lettering in black drizzle

it is my approach
my weaving
my sigil as curved embankment

I can never name myself
or plot myself
according to the sparks or the splinters from the work bench

ruthless with salivation
with my awkward insular roaming
I am like a few darkened eaglets riveted against the moon

then I am brought to a table by deafness
feasting with herons
which spins me by embranglement
by in-circular abatement
always seeking to have me neutered beneath my derma
so as to talk to myself
so as to cancel my structureless scrutiny

they speak of me as lawless
as despicable
as a typhoon in a sea well
as to morals
as to fixed & accelerated combination

they fix me
as deserted
as a fragment from a starving lion’s compendium

I am considered
as pointless positron without image
as hieroglyph
as sundial
as martyr

being leakage from a barbarous index province

Will  Alexander, “Coping Prana” from Compression & Purity, City Lights Spotlight No. 5. Copyright © 2011 by Will  Alexander. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Compression and Purity (City Lights Books, 2011)

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Poet Will Alexander b. 1948

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Poet, novelist, visual artist, philosopher, essayist, and pianist—Will Alexander is not easily categorized. Though his work is frequently described as “surreal” and he has published mainly with small presses and imprints, Alexander does not fit any clichéd image of the generation of avant-garde poets that began publishing in the 1970s and ‘80s. The son of a World War II veteran, Alexander was influenced by the revolutionary . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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