The Sri Lankan Loxodrome

Overview

A mesmerizing poetry collection by “an ecstatic surrealist on imaginal hyperdrive” (Eliot Weinberger).
the maps one comes to know are but boulders which are shattered by spoilage
—Will Alexander
In navigation a loxodrome, or rhumb-line, is a line that crosses all meridians at the same angle, maintaining one compass direction, a path of constant bearing. In his breakthrough poetry collection, The Sri Lankan ...
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Overview

A mesmerizing poetry collection by “an ecstatic surrealist on imaginal hyperdrive” (Eliot Weinberger).
the maps one comes to know are but boulders which are shattered by spoilage
—Will Alexander
In navigation a loxodrome, or rhumb-line, is a line that crosses all meridians at the same angle, maintaining one compass direction, a path of constant bearing. In his breakthrough poetry collection, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome, Will Alexander connects this theme to a lone Sri Lankan sailor who beheads sea snakes as an ongoing meditation while sailing the expanse of the Indian Ocean. Along the way he meets various African communities as he journeys eastward, from Madagascar to Sri Lanka. In lush, perfumed language filled with the spirit of Aimé Césaire and Sun Ra, Alexander maps an epic voyage unlike any other in contemporary poetry.
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Editorial Reviews

HarRyette Mullen - Callaloo
“Alexander’s poems are unpunctuated, their expanding structures suggest that each might be read as a single very long, very complex sentence…a complex sentence machine turning out elaborate grammatical parallelisms, extensive series of epic catalogues, and open-ended syntax of discordant clauses and appended prepositional phrases.”
Clayton Eshleman - American Poet
“Alexander’s verbal flights strike me as more shamanistic than free-associational or automatic. His evocation of upper and lower worlds, and his vocabulary which bridges poetry, philosophy, myth, and science, give his verbal fulgurations a sense of linguistic seed that suddenly sprouts, then resprouts…. He may be the first major ‘outsider artist’ in American poetry. Whatever he is, he is a force to reckon with, whose self-propelled soarings evoke Simon Rodia’s ‘Watt’s Tower’ as well as Siberian ecstasies.”
Andrew Wessels - The Quarterly Conversation
“Formidable. Alexander encourages the reader to ... let the poem itself exist as its own unique world.”
Jesse Tangen-Mills - Times Literary Supplement
“An unusual poet who likes unusual word…these poems look fresh and alien.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811218290
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 986,260
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and visual artist who lives in Los Angeles, the city where he was born in 1948. He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001 and a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002. Over the years he has worked several jobs (including the LA Lakers box office), has taught at various institutions, and has been associated with the nonprofit organization Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, working with underserved, at-risk youth.
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Table of Contents

The Bedouin Ark 3

A Nexus of Phantoms 10

Water as a Dysphoric Medium 12

The Optic Wraith 15

Thought as Philosophical Torment 21

The Sri Lankan Loxodrome 23

Glossary 93

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