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In Back Of The Real

by
 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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