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Kazim Ali is a traveller both in time and in space, taking us into worlds that seem far apart-the omnipresent pastness of Cairo, contemporary Albany, the music of Alice Coltrane-but which, in fact, are bound together by his breath, the ways he breathes are the ways he writes. The result, far from being insubstantial, is as real as the sky, forever changing above us without our knowledge, but which achingly asks us to follow the poet as he dares its embrace. This is a beautiful, haunting book.' -Adil Jussawalla 'Age-old stories made of rain and skin and flowering into wild bush fires are born out of Kazim Ali's poetry. The then and the now become blurred as he relives with a new urgency the interrogations of our time through the prism of Sufi lore and song. Myths forming the skeleton of men are seized and burst apart. Between endless time and ephemeral instant, the poet's words draw us into a dancing net where we shake with untold uncertainties: "Illusion is the sheet and the thing lying under it." The secrecy of desire lies deep at the heart of this collection of poetry--immensely seductive.' -Ananda Devi
About the Author
Kazim Ali's books include four volumes of poetry, The Far Mosque, The Fortieth Day, Bright Felon - Autobiography and Cities and Sky Ward, three novels, Quinn's Passage, The Disappearance of Seth and Wind Instrument, and three collections of essays, Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence, Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice and Resident Alien: On Border-Crossing and the Undocumented Divine. He has translated poetry by Sohrab Sepehri and Ananda Devi and novels by Marguerite Duras. He is the editor of Jean Valentine: This-World Company and Mad Heart, Be Brave: On the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali. He teaches Jivamukti Yoga and has been on the faculty of various colleges and universities including, most recently, Oberlin College.