--This poem refers to the 1967 Martha Graham Dance Company’s European tour, performed at the Shaftsbury Theatre, London.
It was a challenge to dance
night after night in the paint peeling
Shaftsbury Theatre where we three
were crammed into a cubby hole
dressing room while one of us warmed up
up on the floor. When Dana or I entered,
we had to step over Louise, carefully
slide out our chairs while she
contracted and released behind us.
The stink was staggering--
from sweaty costumes,
overpowering b.o. and
from layers of warm-up woolens
rarely washed because nothing dried
in this March-damp UK climate.
One night, after repeatedly telling
Louise to exercise on stage,
I yanked out my chair too quickly
stabbing Our Lady of the Floor.
I’ve had it, I said. No more floor work
on the floor. I once had compassion for
this so-so dancer who, it was rumored,
Martha invited into the company because
Louise’s ancestry could be traced to
some saint from the Middle Ages
as if this made her Graham-worthy.
Nothing changed. Dana and Louise
stuck up for each other and it was two
longstanding members against
a first-timer. So we continued
to clench our razor-sharp fangs.
began her career in the arts as a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company. As a playwright she’s been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Edinburgh. Her poetry has been published in several journals namely Askew, Spillway,Third Wednesday and the American Writers Review. She’s also shown up online at YourDailyPoem. Most recently M. Colonomos has been writing with poet Ann Buxie. Their new work is titled KNOCK KNOCK and they’ve been featured readers at the EP Foster Library, the Library of Thousand Oaks and Beyond Baroque. Her chapbook is ART FARM published by Finishing Line Press. For more go to her website.