photo by Misha Ashton-Moore
I'm an editor and writer, currently based out of Lawrence, Kansas. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana (2009) and a BA in English from the University of Texas (2006). Additionally, I am the recipient of the 2011 Nancy Dew Taylor Poetry Award from Emrys Journal, and I was a writer-in-residence at the Montana Artists Refuge in 2009.
I am the author of the poetry chapbook, One Day There Will Be Nothing to Show That We Were Ever Here (Bedouin Books). Three additional books and chapbooks of mine are slated to be released in 2014: elsewhere (Black Lawrence Press), Carpe Demons (Unsolicited Press), and That Finger on Your Temple is the Barrel of My Raygun (Bedouin Books).
"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 long poem 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
"What elegant, gorgeous and hip poems! Looking fiercely yet tenderly, Jones is in love with the weirdness and beauty of this unraveling world, and mesmerized by his enchanted, subtly humorous and at times alarming voice, we too are seduced anew."
—Linh Dinh, author of Love Like Hate
"Something for everyone here: Ferlinghetti enthusiasts, Leonard Cohen admirers, just plain crazy people. Scott Alexander Jones is either a poet of great power or completely out of his mind. Either way, his poems had me barking out loud with sudden laughter and that is not my usual reaction to poetry. This is almost like someone making fun of a certain type of po-faced surrealistic quasi-beat poetry. But it is too well-written to be merely that. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like this collection."
—Raegan Butcher, author of Stone Hotel and Rusty String Quartet
"Elsewhere reads like inspirational text for the skeptic, a daily devotional for the non-believer. 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.'"
"After I've polished off the last fishstick and I'm curled in a fetal position on my couch and the white noise of infomercials have lulled me to sleep, I dream of a world in which cotton candy grows on trees and lab animals sing street-corner doowop and Scott Alexander Jones has been declared Poet Laureate Of Planet Earth. His is a beautiful, horrible planet plagued by mythological beasts and the absurdist violence of arcade games; a world where science is god and the human body a cathedral/funhouse/horror movie. And the best part is, I don't have to wake up early tomorrow because his poems burned down my place of work."
—Harold Whit Williams, Cotton Mather guitarist & author of Backmasking and Waiting For The Fire To Go Out
"The poems in That Finger on Your Temple is the Barrel of My Raygun are part fun ride, part descent into anguish. Scott Alexander Jones ably juxtaposes apiary with alienation, career-obsession with mortality. Jones is wildly imaginative, and his poems tell of surrender and replacing bodies with sticks, of youth and spiking coffee with psychotropics, of desolation and floating in a grim waterworld. I enjoyed reading That Finger on Your Temple is the Barrel of My Raygun very much."
"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.'"
"The poems of Scott Alexander Jones have a powerful presence and an extraordinary eloquence. The presence is built of exact details, and a sense of place and person; the eloquence is that of natural speech, the speaking voice of a poet-narrator. These are poems one listens to, and inhabits, takes part in. Jones is a fine observer of both the outer and the inner landscapes -- place, passion and psyche. The poems are both personal and large, true to self and widely seeking. Even his briefest poem, "A Template for Abandonment"' gets there: "Crossroads/ of a ghost town/ christened/ for black blades/ of grass/ a tree grows/ from an open/ sewer hatch". This is a fresh, welcome and original new voice, a strong and intelligent talent."
—David Wevill, author of ten books of poems, is Professor Emeritus of the English Department, University of Texas
—Greg Pape, Montana Poet Laureate, author of American Flamingo
"Capable of stylish recursions and switchbacks, the restless speaker of these poems finds an auspicious trailhead just about anywhere at the inconspicuous margins of the present American West. From the WTO protests in Seattle, a vegan co-op in Los Angeles, a Western Montanan skatepark, or his native red Texas clay, Scott might launch one of his self-refining, surefooted excursions, and like the highest climb they are revelatory as outlook broadens. Serviceberry and solidarity at the top. This trail goes on far above that rock I thought was the peak."
—Brian Blanchfield, author of A Several World and Not Even Then
"Scott's poems speak in a voice fraying with remembrances. Of named lovers, present and past; of lost places and friends. Their tenor like wildly coherent ramblings before a dawn soaked in whiskey, moral fatigue, and that perpetual revisionism of questions to large to have answers. Just as the certainty of that night’s end, of seasons’ close and return, relentlessly, they know their lights and our respective ghosts will cycle until they all go finally out. Their triumph is an ability to exist in this light’s gloaming. They both love and hate our facile pop-culture of plastic cathedrals, giving them a big-and-bloody hug. As poet, Scott stands before these weird houses of worship with a cup of flame, wishing to burn them wholly but unable to, attached to a preexisting fire: his petite anarchy of the mind. Here everything burns. They acknowledge an ash to come, and in this allow a myriad of characters and voices appearing and reappearing, to speak, while sparing none the inevitably futile whisper preceding oblivion. In their spell these verses provide solace in the idea that, as we pass from our tiny lives into the void, there is a collective union, just as when we lived, in our ceasing forever to do so. And like a “soft inhale of wind” they accept memory’s transience: ours, and the world of us entire."
—Matthew Kaler, SLOPE Poetry Journal