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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.

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Hawaii Dantesca


by Charles Wright


White-sided flowers are thrusting up on the hillside,
                                                                blank love letters from the dead.
It's autumn, and nobody seems to mind.

Or the broken shadows of those missing for hundreds of years
Moving over the sugar cane
                                              like storks, which nobody marks or mends.

This is the story line.

And the viridescent shirtwaists of light the trees wear.
And the sutra-circles of cattle egrets wheeling out past the rain showers.
And the spiked marimbas of dawn rattling their amulets...

Soon it will be time for the long walk under the earth toward the sea.

And time to retrieve the yellow sunsuit and little shoes
                                                                                they took my picture in

In Knoxville, in 1938.

Time to gather the fire in its quartz bowl.

I hope the one with the white wings will come.
I hope the island of reeds is as far away as I think it is.

When I get there, I hope they forgive me if the knot I tie is the wrong
        knot.



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