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Will Alexander 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 Watts Towers as well as Siberian ecstasies.

—Clayton Eshleman, American Poet

In navigation a loxodrome, or rhumb line, is a line that crosses all meridians at the same angle, maintaining a constant compass direction, a path of constant bearing. The Sri Lankan Loxodrome threads this theme through a series of ecstatic monologues filled with the poet’s vast imaginary and intellectual wanderings, and touched by the sufferings of his ongoing battle with cancer. The book culminates in the title poem, which follows a lone Sri Lankan sailor who beheads sea snakes as an ongoing meditation while sailing the expanse of the Indian Ocean. Along the way the traveler meets various African communities as he journeys eastward from Madagascar to Sri Lanka. In lush, mesmeric language filled with the spirit of Aimé Césaire and Sun Ra, Will Alexander maps an epic voyage unlike any other in contemporary American poetry.

Sri Lankan Loxodrome

Poetry by Will Alexander

published September 1st, 2009
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