The pieces set forth in this little volume are exercises in word music; music that would flow unaccompanied by instrumentation, and, perhaps, with no sound at all; words that would transmit a fullness of experience, with phenomena, thought and mood unified and immediate.
The Sonnets to the Aten are the earlier compositions, the form, with its rigidity and compression, being ideal for the development of style. Mystic Hymns and Psalms presents a freer hand, more attuned to fluidity, spontaneity, the living; life itself. The Asterism Sonnets, written last, aim to replicate certain features of the ghazal.
The author draws heavily from the Hymn to the Aten, Psalm 104 (especially the translation by Robert Alter), the music of Sun Ra, and other sources. And from the indomitable, the cultivated in its roughness, the wildly curated, the blessed spirit of the Arlington Garden in Pasadena, surely the grace and future of this Earth.
Los Angeles, June 29, 2021