Art and poetry on page and stage

gift box


Nancy Mercado

Catcalls to My Brain

No 1980’s tight young ass to pounce on anymore
No smooth skin to assault anymore
No frightened little girl to follow
Down cold shitty Lower East Side streets anymore

Now-a-days the boys catcall my intellect
Corner me in conference rooms
In restaurants

¡¿Oye mami cuántos libros has leído?!

¡No sabes na bruta!

Where did you graduate from mami?!

Your university degree means nada nena!

They attempt to inflict
Injuries with blank pages
To drown me out
Under piles of exclusions
To erase my existence
To whittle me down
To a stub

N o t h i n g


These days my catcallers
Are the intelligentsia
Postmodern jeering elitists
Hyperbolic hipsters swooping in to take charge
Our modern-day land grabbers
The white settlers of the information age
Revolutionary revisionists

My cat-calling boys come with females in tow these days
Sold out dames of trendiness
Fast talking fools
Puking memorized conceptual hullabaloos
Living delusions

They are lost souls

Existing in their own holograms of fame
Convinced masses in the world
Know their name
Believe their immortality

Don’t my catcallers understand
They have yet to be born?

Nancy Mercado is the editor of the Nuyorican Women Writers Anthology published in Voices, El Centro's Hunter College online literary journal. She is a guest curator for the Museum of American Poetics and assistant editor for; a web site dedicated to addressing the issue of climate crises. She presents her work throughout the U.S. and abroad.