We all know that agaves are truly inspirational plants. They live in dramatic arcs, not surprising given agaves’ tragic origen love story of Mayahuel and Quetzalcoatl, so why there isn’t more poetry written about them? I recently happened upon a poem with an agave reference studded right in the middle that jumped out at me for its elegance and ignorance. And the poet, Mary Ruefle, is definitely someone to look up for her poetry, prose, and essays.
Oh Jimmy, all you ever wanted was to see the new century but no such luck. You never saw a century plant either, or you would have taken another drink. They grow for one hundred years, bloom in their centenary spring then die forevermore. The stalk is ten feet tall (you'd be jealous) rising out of a clump of cactus leaves (think yucca) then bursting into creamy ovoids flaming on the candelabrum.
From Mimosa by Mary Ruefle in “Trances of the Blast“