Sometimes, what you need to do is read a poem: Evening Primrose by Amy Greacen

I read a lot of poetry, mostly for pleasure, but also because I find the way poets use language to be extremely instructive. As a copywriter, it seems everyone is always telling me to make the copy shorter. Whenever this makes me grouchy, I go read ee cummings or William Carlos Williams; then I get over myself and make the copy shorter.

So I read because it makes me happy and because it makes me a better writer, but every now and then a piece hits me right between the eyes and reminds me why I write in the first place, why I bother breathing.

I ran across this poem the other day while meandering the Internet, and I have been thinking about it ever since. I am deeply enamored of brash weeds that bloom against all odds. Perhaps because I am one myself.

Evening Primrose

Amy Greacen

Oenothera biennis

Early adopter, familiar of vespertine
temporal specialists, itinerants:
who said your life would be easy? Chance
encounters, chancy neighborhoods, the lean

ground nothing cultivated will possess. But you,
night-bloomer, all strings of dubious exes, loose
ends, unabashedly seedy—you need no excuse.
This is simply what you do.

Daze them with perfume, bombshell;
daylight’s gaudy attractants are nothing to you.
Instead, take moonlight to the next level; take the dunes,
parking strips, waste ground that, for the right body—well,

presents the perfect opportunity. Herb of the X
chromosome: you know stigma. You don’t care.
Wherever the ground’s disturbed, you’re there,
brash, sticky with longing, a complex

quadruply branching ripple-effect array
of balanced-lethal genes and a flair for risk.
You know why you are here, let no one say
otherwise, heterotic odalisque;

X marks the spot, and hot things happen next;
slippery, brimming inner places; oils surefire
for increasing suppleness and desire
and damn the consequences, baby;

they’re on your turf now.

1 thought on “Sometimes, what you need to do is read a poem: Evening Primrose by Amy Greacen

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