Why Were We So Wild about Wildflowers?



Why inside our eglantine

Were the elephantine

We placed all insubstantial prizes

So diamond so olive

Wild dunning to pock the block

About an honest design for temporary

Wildflowers so breathless



Why were we in this inestimable lake

        tiny so wild and syllable

                not a story about wildflowers


Why were we implacable in the face

        Elise so wild to shine

                about wildflowers the umbrellas


Why were we bought and sold

        so wild to trice

                about wildflowers returning home


Why were we laughing in the attic of starbursts

        so wild bejesus

                about wildflowers godmothering


Why were we finite butterflies

        so wild horn of pressure

                about wildflowers in the tendon


Why were we in question

        so wild our attention

                about wildflowers procedures


Why were we implacable in our demand

        for time so wild to feed

                a song about wildflowers defined


Why were we America’s secret victims

        fruit so wild to honor

                not about wildflowers nor longitude


Why were we incapable of singing

        underwear so wild and plural

                adjustments about wildflowers timing



Wildflowers rang the original pendant

Wildflowers signed their names in blood on our legs

Wildflowers brought peace to America

Wildflowers sang through the arteries

Wildflowers touched this deep in the sauceboat

Wildflowers masked our difference and—


Wildflowers basted the gates

Wildflowers sang the horseplay

Wildflowers wrapped our onions

Wildflowers branched through our patooties

Wildflowers drank the acids



They represented a torch to light

force through purple laskers


Something held the ring in place

(The falls pursuant to their obligations)

The fruition of quiet

The discovery of wrongdoing burned holes


This regimented elevation

Deep in the home of gloom


Time in the hose of bromides


The balm of soup

(Toulouse hemispheres)


The restitution of our homeland

There in the impossible (signpost)

Timely purchases and the ripe toil of elephant rolls


At the bottom (two plastic saints

A ruckus in the upholstery)


Michael Ruby is the author of American Songbook and the coeditor of Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer.

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Further Reading

 April 16

“‘Explosion without an objective,’ declared Miles Blundell, is politics in its purest form.’”—Thomas. . .