the louderARTS Project

Photo courtesy of Peter Dressel

Marty McConnell

Marty McConnell transplanted herself from Chicago to New York City in 1999 to pursue her MFA in creative writing/poetry from Sarah Lawrence College . In addition to completing three national tours with the Morrigan, an all-female performance poetry troupe she co-founded, she competed in the 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2006 National Poetry Slams with team NYC/louderARTS and appeared on the second and fifth seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

She serves on the Project's executive committee and co-curates the Project's flagship Monday night series. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies, including Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, Will Work for Peace, In Our Own Words: Poetry of Generation X, and the forthcoming Women of the Bowery anthology, as well as literary magazines including Rattapallax, Boxcar Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills, 2River View, Lodestar Quarterly, and Blue Fifth Review. She has performed and facilitated workshops at schools and festivals around the country, including The Dodge Poetry Festival, Connecticut Poetry Festival, Cornell University, the University of Utah, James Madison University, University of Connecticut, University of Arkansas, DePaul University, and more.

After two years of working with NYC youth as associate director of Urban Word NYC, legendary film and television producer Norman Lear tapped her to be one of four poets creating the spoken word portion of Declare Yourself, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign aiming to energize and empower a new movement of young voters to participate in the political process in the 2004 election year.

marty at louderARTS dot com
www.MartyMcConnell.com
www.DeclareYourself.com
www.UrbanWordNYC.org


Joan of Arc to the $2,000-an-hour woman

Jason would be saying, "Natalia is the greatest escort in the history of the world, as good as Cleopatra or Joan of Arc," and I’d be like, "Jason! Joan of Arc was not an escort, she was a religious martyr."
-- New York Magazine, July 18, 2005

at least your pimp has a name, a neck
you could put your two good hands around.
he loves you like all men love
what they sell, what comes back
in gold. make no mistake, my God
was a man: men with their mouths
at the entrance to the cave, whispering,
men dripping hallucinogens into the milk,
men insisting lead us, lead us, have this horse
this sword this sentence this pyre. men naked
under their robes, their armor, their teeth
bartering my skin for their country, a cause
I would have sworn was mine.

Cleo and I place bets on women like you.
from this distance, your dance looks like ours.
and Vashti's, and Salomé's, and Helen's,
and you’re acquainted with the Magdalene.
our mythical knees locked or spread,
bringing men to theirs and us to the gallows
the tower the stake / trade your corset for a habit
and they’ll hate you all the same: whatever cannot
be possessed is poison. the body is never bought
but rented which is why he wants your heart, bound
like feet, dancing only for him.

let me tell you something about possession: never
let a man dictate your wingspan or your footwear.
there’s a god on every corner and not one
would have you mortgage your given body
for this man and his fur-lined tongue. don’t think
I don’t know about love; more goes unreported
in history than in myth. sell your story, Natalia,
before they scrape it from under your fingernails
as evidence / cut your hair. buy a building
in Brooklyn. lay down on a bed of teeth, alone.
peel back their fingerprints one by one, each incision
the hot face of a god, unfolding.



© Marty McConnell



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .