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In Back Of The Real

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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.  

                         San Jose, 1954

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