and jewelry, rightly displayed,
have an equal amount of fascination.
Carrots, for instance,
ferntops, bodies, and hair roots
so bound together in bunches
bunches laid in rows
of oblong heaps with magnitude,
are sufficient to arrest any seeing eye.
Cabbages with a purplish tinge,
when of grandeur, with widespread petals,
as they rest in heaps
catching the dawn’s first filtering of sunlight,
compare satisfyingly with roses enmassed,
with orchids, sunflowers, tulips,
or variegated flowers
While as to onions,
little can excel their decorative effect
when green tubes, white bulbs, and grey hair roots
rest in well arranged, paralleled piles
about which buxom women congregate,
laughing and chattering in wholesome vulgarity.
a cool indifference to the gash of knives,
to the crush of kind,
or to any destiny whatsoever,
has granted the vegetables an arrogance of identity
one would be foolhardy to strive after
with heated impressionable imagination.
given their color,
scent and freshness,
too easily attain a cool supremacy of being
for our fumbling competition.
from The Best Poems Of 1926, edited by L. A. G. Strong
New York City: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1926
Robert McAlmon was a pivotal figure in the American avant-garde of the 1920s, both in Greenwich Village and Paris. His press, Contact Editions, published Hemingway’s first book of fiction, Three Stories & Ten Poems, as well as Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans, William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All, and Robert Coates’ The Eater of Darkness. After his death, Kay Boyle assembled his memoirs, along with some of her own, into one of the best accounts of the period, Being Geniuses Together (1970).
This is one in a series of neglected poems taken from the Internet Archive (link).