The Coming Mental Range brings readers deep into the revolutionary poetics and philosophy of multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and musician Will Alexander. Gathering together a group of Alexander’s short prose writings in his signature “vertical philosophy” with essays in poetics touching on the work of admired artists and poets (Byron Baker, Wanda Coleman, Pablo Jofré, Bob Kaufman, and Ghérasim Luca to name a few), in addition to several key interviews with the author, The Coming Mental Range serves as a critical introduction to Alexander’s work and thought, and as a companion to volumes in poetry and philosophy like Divine Blue Light (City Lights, 2022), Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021), and Towards the Primeval Lightning Field (O Books, 1998). In The Coming Mental Range, “language crystallizes as imaginal blazing, as musical incandescence,” and we are swept along in its roaring tides to other shores. As Alexander writes, “What is most concerning language must never fail at convincing, at emancipating its readership via transgressive spiral.”
Praise for Will Alexander
I’ve felt when writing these texts as if I were both looking down and gazing up simultaneously, infused with an insatiable vertigo not unlike strange moons casting occulted rays through heathen binary suns that seem to spin at once in conflicting dimensions at differing levels of speed. The result from this turbulent tidal seismicity is that light emits itself via frictive streaks and angles, through darting shards of voltage… This, for me, is The Coming Mental Range where psychic light naturally casts its rays out of ciphers.
— Will Alexander, from the Introduction
As readers of Alexander’s writing have come to expect, it is swarming with information from a vast library — like one lost in Alexandria — that the author has absorbed into his bloodstream: philosophy; science of all kinds from color theory to the study of insects and lemurs; alchemy, geography; the Dogon; mining in Zimbabwe in 41,000 B.C.; science fiction; and the output of little-known writers. And really this is just the tip of the iceberg.
— John Yau
The desire in such writing is for a paradise of language, for the creation in language of a reality that uses particles that ignite new constellations as they foment interlocking nonsequitur constellations that ignite new constellations as they burst.
— Clayton Eshleman
Will Alexander is our alchemist. We are his raw materials.
— Andrei Codrescu