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As the resident poet at EcoHealth, my verse finds inspiration these days in the specter of future pandemics. For my dissertation at Amerika-Institut (LMU), I'm anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson's sonnets. I also tutor at Schreibzentrum (LMU), teach at MVHS, and lead the Amerikahaus Literary Circle.

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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