As a Juggernaut of Blooms,
this Amorphophallus looms above
the Huntington’s milling crowds,
an equatorial cloud of putrid odor
spilling over the heads of its viewers.
We mill around its towering spadix,
clicking furiously on our shutters.
What a marvel at this despairing time:
hourly traffic jams to see this spathe
unfurl like the beginning of the world.
Maurya Simon has published ten volumes of poetry, including her most recent book, The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2016, which was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal in Poetry from the Independent Booksellers Association. She’s been the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry, as well as serving multiple Visiting Artist Residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the American Academy in Rome. Her poems have been translated into Hebrew, French, Spanish, Greek, and Farsi. Simon taught literature and creative writing in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside for thirty years, and serves currently as a Professor of the Graduate Division. She divides her time between San Clemente and the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California.
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