the louderARTS Project

Nina Parrilla

Nina is a Nuyorican Wellesley woman. Raised in the Hudson Valley she spent her summers in the Lower East Side with her abuelita (whose name she performs under). After graduating from Columbia Law School she left Manhattan for a simpler life with her partner in the Florida Panhandle.

She has featured at Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase, louderMONDAYS, Tixe, the Bluestockings Café and has been published in Nothing But the Dirt We Are Made Of- Poetry in and around the louderARTS Project. From 2003 until 2005 she hosted the Dia de los Muertos poetry reading at Columbia University. An autobiographical poet Nina tries to make the reader see inside of herself and at the world at the same time.

Currently Nina is editing her collection and preparing to start as an adjunct professor at Florida State University. Her academic work focuses on Human Rights, Genocide and International Adjudication.

Nina believes that poetry, bread and justice are for everyone and works every day towards making that hope a reality.

She can be reached at ninanuyorican at yahoo dot com. Her online journal, which floats between the personal and the political, can be read at ninanuyorican.blogspot.com



Doņas of Loisaida


It is late
and the Doņas of Loisaida
are heading in for the night
one at a time
they go home slowly
I
sit in public spaces
and watch them take their steps
towards the exit
I
watched as they swivelled and swayed
across dance floors in kitchens
children at their feet
I
am writing the story of them
as I get the phone call that
says I must stay a little longer
Don’t go
wait
They ruled over their kingdom
sitting on the corner of
12th street and avenue D
Backs straight
Lipstick on
perfume perfected
They sat
through riots
they sat
and watched the signs
blocking them form
stores come down
They sat through
Bautizos y quiences y bodas
the men left
and still they sat
Talking and laughing
pointing and smiling
If I am half the woman they were
I will be twice the woman that I am
She is going home the phone call said
And the waters of East River
will take her back to Puerto Rico
Island of adolescent years
I didn’t get to see
Still I heard
everything they said
and the only thing that gives me comfort
is that I know
night will eventually turn to a new dawn
and somewhere
the Doņas of Loisaida
are holding court



© Nina Parrilla 2004



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