lukebennett13

bindweed fence

“railroad yard in San Jose 
I wandered desolate
in front of a tank factory
and sat on a bench
near the switchman’s shack.

A flower lay on the hay on
the asphalt highway
–the dread hay flower
I thought–It had a
brittle black stem and
corolla of yellowish dirty
spikes like Jesus’ inchlong
crown, and a soiled
dry center cotton tuft
like a used shaving brush
that’s been lying under
the garage for a year.

Yellow, yellow flower, and
flower of industry,
tough spiky ugly flower,
flower nonetheless,
with the form of the great yellow
Rose in your brain!
This is the flower of the World.”

Allen Ginsberg (1954) In Back of the Real

I came across this poem whilst idly flicking through a slim collection of beat poets at my father’s new house a few weeks ago. I know little about poetry, and much less about botany. It was…

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