The Memoir Artists

by Marly Youmans

No daughter is a female lout
For flashing Daddy’s secrets out

From that gay closet called a grave.
Unearthing him? The act is brave.

You beat your mistress thirty years?
You disregarded wifely tears?

Then tell us, won’t you, how it felt
To slash a cheek, abrade a welt?

You are an artist: teach us well
The precincts of your private hell.

Molested at the age of five?
Then you must help us to survive.

You cut yourself, your voice unheard?
Then give us now the food of Word.

Bearing witness, you redeem us—
Wash us in the blood of Venus.

You jolly whoreson knaves and girls,
Run sell your souls for gimcrack pearls,

Let memoirs probe the cavity,
Explore a lush depravity.

You have the courage of your risk,
So let your pen be free to frisk

Across the errors of your days:
How we love you! Let’s count the ways.


Read more about Marly Youmans at