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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, I pen verse these days inspired by the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at Amerika-Institut of LMU München, where I edit a weekly circular on poetry, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach English, tutor composition, and lead a literary circle.

20111213

Eclogue


I heard a soldier on NPR speak
of an Afghan widow who, in a field
of blooming poppies, stooped low in the mud;
she’d been at her work for hours: “Crazy,”
he thought, watching the white dress go blood red
with flower stains of decollated bulbs
with a curious amount of leisure.



As in a gallery patron’s treasure
hunt (where each find is found, say, like the daubs
of Hofmann’s blasted and fragmented bed
of sanguinary chunks) lit by hazy
afternoon, she’d toss with a horrible thud—
he realized only later—the gross yield
of a land mine, which made the basket leak.


Mark Olival-Bartley


Note:  A recitation by the poet can be heard here.

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