Laura Marie Marciano: I am Laura Marie Marciano, and this is PoetryNow. The first time I saw the Me Too hashtag, I felt quite flooded with feeling, and I felt like this is too much for me and it’s probably too much for all other survivors, victims, however they describe themselves. And I think that maybe is a little bit where that first line comes from, “I am so done with feeling”, I’ve felt this, I keep feeling it, when is the feeling going to end. Growing up Italian-American, I’ve always used a lot of Catholic imagery, or culturally Catholic words in my work. That language always seems ceremonial. This poem points to that moment where you have agency. That moment for me of agency sort of felt like I’d been anointed, and it was this ornamenting party quite literally.
I am so done with feeling
Xmas Amaryllis grow
in places where thralls go free
I am not quite enough
for the woodland; promoting myself again
after all accused men have been named
In Casablanca I wait for livestock
to come through luxe doors
for thighs to grow less through absorption
My killer is not going to be invited to this
Ornamenting party and I am blue daisies
casting O’s wide in anointment
Now that he’s gone I am free to torch down the
Valley la spiaggia of pure
Purple small neck in hand
At the beginning of the poem, I’m not quite enough for the wood land, I haven’t yet been able to enter my full personhood, my full agency. The patriarch, or this sense of violence onto my body, had rendered me mediocre. And then when you’re able to have that sense finally, that you can embody your own power, you can embody your own voice, there’s this joy. This summer, I was sitting on a beach in Italy, and the beach was purple. The rocks were purple. I’m looking out at the massive Mediterranean, all of the swimmers are in these inflatable tubes which have long since been outlawed in New England where I’m from. So it was just like, purple rocks, inflatable tubes, and I’m here, and the person who hurt me is not here.
My killer is not going to be invited to this / Ornamenting party and I am blue daisies / casting O’s wide in anointment
I hope this poem is sort of an invitation for everyone to come to this party. We’re creating a new invitation list here. We’ve banned together across so many different platforms and in so many different ways and said hey, guess what? All of y’all that want to keep acting like that are not invited to this party.
Katie Klockskin: That was Laura Marie Marciano, and her poem, “Ash Weed”. I’m Katie Klocksin, and this is PoetryNow, a production of The Poetry Foundation. For more about this series, go to poetry foundation.org/poetrynow.