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Publication Date: November 2014


from elsewhere

That finger on your temple is the barrel
of my raygun-

That wretched dull resonance

breaching walls where windows once were, here
at the end of all things

tells us nothing

we haven’t already been told

regarding nightjars-

That eyelid slit of light
beneath the bathroom door at the end of the hallway

yellow & yellowish & yellowing
as deciduous leaves

come winter

says one of us remains
awake at this androgynous hour

lighting candles meant to conjure azaleas.


“There is a word for the prodigal circles we turn / alien on the outskirts” writes Scott Alexander Jones in this book of fragmenting intimacy and emotional exile. His longpoem explores the ravished wanderings and compulsive ruptures of a contemporary romance, born in restlessness, hungry for fresh encounters on ever more uncertain terrain, “blinding & cloudscaped / & groundless.” Fidelities, to person or location, become a series of tenuous sendings, “fluctuations / begun as open winds / in the self-blown distance.” Akin to the amorous exigencies of André Breton and Robert Desnos, elsewhere takes place as rapt incantatory sound, a musical happening, “static, as in: falling in all dimensions away from.”

-Karen Volkman, author of Spar and Crash’s Law

Welcome to elsewhere, a long poem whose mascot insists on the political relevance of rain puddles: “Where a lone sheepdog in a raincoat orange as prisonbreak drags his leash thru / puddles / rainbowed iridescent by the remains / of extinct reptiles.” In dizzyingly musical lines, Scott Alexander Jones documents both “our blue proximity to morning” and “that Listerine™ blueness” blurs the line between long-hidden “lipstick graffiti” and “the severed rings of a sycamore” and insists that “there isn’t a word” for the images he conjures to cloud, confuse, and capture a buried narrative of loss. Elsewhere pulses with emotion, sadness, and beauty linked by observations and objects: “How one day there will be nothing to show that we were ever / here / but stardust. / Yet it’s not for us / sea waves, rain, shuddering leaves and TV snow / all sound like applause.

-Carol Guess, author of Tinderbox Lawn and Doll Studies: Forensics

Elsewhere reads like inspirational text for the skeptic, a daily devotional for the nonbeliever. In the midst of a fading relationship, Jones seeks some truth in wordplay, solace in his impermanence. He does away with not only the watchmaker god, but also the very idea of a personal one. Science and reason aren’t necessarily treated any better. Precambrian amoebas, Listerine, programmed cell death-apparently, this is all just one big cosmic con. But there is hope! From the blissful idiocy of a Daniel Johnston epigraph to the lines “after tomorrow / comes tomorrow / will come tomorrow” this collection masterfully echoes Robert Creeley’s belief that “nothing’s wiser than a moment.

-Harold Whit Williams, author of Backmasking and Waiting for the Fire to Go Out

About the Author

Scott Alexander Jones

Scott Alexander Jones is the author of One Day There Will Be Nothing to Show That We Were Ever Here (Bedouin Books, 2009) and co-founder of the punk literary zine, Zerø Ducats. His poems have appeared in over fifty journals, including Roanoke ReviewThird Coast, and Tribeca Poetry Review. In 2009, he received his MFA from the University of Montana and was a writer-in-residence at the Montana Artists Refuge. In 2011, he received the Nancy Dew Taylor Poetry Award from Emrys Journal. For the time being, he lives down the road from William S. Burroughs’s old home in Lawrence, Kansas.

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