Thursday 1 October 2020

This month's Moon Prize, the sixty-first, goes to Nancy Mercado's poem "Catcalls to My Brain.

Catcalls to My Brain

by Nancy Mercado

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?

* * * * *

© 2020 Nancy Mercado

"Catcalls to My Brain" was first published in Gargoyle (2020).

Nancy Mercado is the recipient of the 2017 American Book Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the Before Columbus Foundation. She was named one of 200 living individuals who best embody the work and spirit of Frederick Douglass on the occasion of his bicentennial by The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. For more information go to nancy HYPHEN mercado DOT com.

1 comment:

  1. Devastating. And they (we) do it to each other, as well, under an illusion of "survival of the fittest," when, in a more accurate reality, it's submission to the game masters.

    Congrats on the Moon Prize!