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As the resident artist at EcoHealth, my verse these days finds inspiration in the specter of future pandemics; for my dissertation at Amerika-Institut of LMU M√ľnchen, where I edit a weekly circular of U.S. poetry, I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets—I also teach English and tutor composition.

20140520

"The Cormorant in Its Element"


by Amy Clampitt


That bony potbellied arrow, wing-pumping along

implacably, with a ramrod's rigid adherence,
airborne, to the horizontal, discloses talents
one would never have guessed at.  Plummeting

waterward, big black feet splayed for a landing

gear, slim head turning and turning, vermilion-
strapped, this way and that, with a lightning glance
over the shoulder, the cormorant astounding-

ly, in one sleek involuted arabesque, a vertical 

turn on a dime, goes into that inimitable
vanishing-and-emerging-from-under-the-briny-

deep act which, unlike the works of Homo Houdini,

is performed for reasons having nothing at all
to do with ego, guilt, ambition, or even money.

Note:  A recitation can be heard here.

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