Audio

Ash Weed

August 7, 2018

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.


Ash Weed

 

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.

Laura Marie Marciano describes the feeling of freedom after closing a chapter in one’s life. Produced by Katie Klocksin.

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