Do You Want Fries With That? – A Quadrille

Your wild red hair,

Pale skin and

Painted lips belied

Your power.

Despite scientists showing

The Traditional Ways were better,

Our greased guts and

A-salt-ed hearts craved the

Colonial Menu

Of broken McPromises and

Big McLies.

Our health for Your wealth.

Not funny, Clown.

Jamie Dedes had a guest “prompter” this past week, Zimbabwean poet activist, Mbizo Chirasha. His prompt requested poems or prose about “neocolonialism or the use in place of direct imperialism of capitalism, globalization, and cultural imperialism for the suppression of human rights by First World actors in Third World arenas.” A difficult, yet thought provoking challenge. You can find responses to this prompt here.

I was also able to incorporate Kim’s prompt for D’Verse Quadrille #96 – Wild.

Being an immigrant to this first world country, I realize now how much the USA has influenced my country of origin, for better or worse. To me, this influence can be found in colorism and internalized racism. It is also most evident in the preponderance of American food, specifically fast food, found in every mall (also an American concept) and every city, large and small.

It is truly a wild concept that the USA can consider McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC and other fast food restaurants as main exports. It isn’t just the food but what that food symbolizes about the “American Dream” – is this really what America is all about?

©️ 2020 iido

Self – Deception — A Haiku

If I don’t swallow

The lie you put on my plate

My stomach grumbles

This haiku was written for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about deception. You can read some of the fabulous responses here.

We all tell lies to ourselves whether we know it or not. My most frequent lie to myself is thinking that I have enough time to do something, when really I don’t. Hence, the reason I am perpetually tardy. I don’t know why I haven’t learned that lesson: I consider myself an insightful person, I know I underestimate time and have always struggled with time management. Yet, something inside makes it hard for me to believe that it really doesn’t take only 15 minutes to get anywhere.

Some lies are OK to believe, in my opinion, like the lie of Santa Claus or the lie that I still look good in the pants I wore when I was 20 (I can still get them past my hips if I suck everything in!). These lies serve a purpose for that point in life. But after awhile, we do have to start seeing reality and accepting the truth. Or come up with a different and better lie than before.

©️ 2020 iido

Liar, Liar – A Poem

Cough, cough, ahem,
Excuse me,
You’re on fire
Yes, you, holding the cell phone
And scrolling
Scrolling
Is it Facebook? Instagram?
Twitter? Tiktok?
Or maybe just the news?
Oh, you don’t notice the smell?
The smoke coming from your pants?
Those pants twisted from all the gymnastics you do –
Well, not actual gymnastics
But the mental gymnastics you do
So you can sleep at night
Oh wait, that’s right
You don’t sleep
You’re scrolling
At 2 AM
Your body, your mind
Your life
Hacked
Into believing
You’re the only one entitled to the American Dream

This poem was written for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt from last week to write about living in a “hacked world”. Responses to this prompt can be found here.

The word “hacking” can have many different meanings. This being cold and flu season, and having kids in various stages of “the sniffles”, my first thought was coughing and not electronic hacking. These are both symptoms of much larger problems.

©️ 2020 iido

Wabi Sabi Welcome Back!

I’ve been MIA from the blogging world…maybe I’ve been jet setting around the world, running in various exotic locales…or maybe I’ve been writing the ending to the next, best-selling novel….or maybe I’ve been inundated with various domestic duties that have left me depleted….if you can think of another, much cooler, excuse for being away, please comment below so I can use it for next time!

But after a week of starting and discarding blog posts, I’ve realized that there will never be a “perfect” post that would make getting back into a blogging routine “better” or “easier”. I just have to post and be ok with the imperfections.

Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing from two weeks ago requested “wabi sabi” poems that celebrated the “perfection in imperfection” (read the perfectly imperfect responses here). In this wabi sabi post, I’ve included this poem about the imperfect, transient process of blogging:

My fingers hover over the letters

Indecision clearly part of their fingerprint

The chosen, one-second press

Several strung together

Garland on paper

Fleeting clarity

Waiting for to be noticed.

So that’s it!! My first post back! My first poem back! Oh – and here’s a wabi sabi photo – an uncentered ceiling with fake blue sky:

I’m catching up on reading all of your (non wabi sabi 😁) blogs, messages/emails and getting my mind and thumbs moving again. An imperfect post still serves its purpose of connecting and communicating. Wabi sabi wonderful!

©️ iido 2019

Down a Dark Hall – A Poem

I wander down a dark hall

Peeking in this room

Throwing wide the doors in another

This door is locked

That door I quickly shut

One door leads me down a corridor/path that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before

Now, I have to walk quickly

The light from my phone

Illuminating the way

I find a door and pull it

But it’s stuck

I jiggle it

I lean into it

I hip check it

I take a running start and slam into it

I slide down and sit

My back against it

It opens

And there sits my muse

She says, “Hello…Poet.”

I originally wrote this poem for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to “write about our own creative process”. You can read other responses to this prompt here.

I also incorporated Christine’s Brave and Reckless October Monster She Wrote challenge #9, Down a Dark Hall into this poem. That title pulled the poem together for me as my writing process is necessarily compartmentalized otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to complete my other obligations during the day.

I had several different endings to this poem – the version I posted for Jamie as well as a few others, but after reading the synopsis for the book, Down a Dark Hall, I felt I needed to change the ending to make it somewhat more ominous (even though my writing process is anything but ominous…despite doing most of my writing in the middle of night in a darkened house where I’m the only one awake and the wind is howling outside and the tree branches scratch scratch scratch the window pane…).

So I changed the punctuation! Oh the power of a three tiny dots! Scary, isn’t it?

©️ iido 2019

The Maple at the End of My Street – A Quadrille

The setting sun filters

Through your leaves

Highlighting the new

Yellows and oranges and reds

I see you

When I return home

After I’ve gone

Through the motions

That life is ok

Even when it’s not

You filter the beauty

Back in my life

Joining in the fun this week with this 44 word poem for Merril at dVerse, Quadrille #89 – Are You Set. It was also inspired by Jamie Dedes’ wonderful Wednesday Writing Prompt to “moments and places where we enjoy the beauty and peace of nature and a deeply sensed connection with the source of our being”. You can read other responses to this prompt here. (Note: The poem above is an revised version from my original submission to The Poet by Day.)

I love sunset more than sunrise. Maybe it’s because I am inherently a night owl. It just seems so peaceful! I especially like seeing sunsets while I’m driving the car, with my kids quiet in the back – usually after a long afternoon of after school activities. My 6 year old son usually says, “Mom, look at the sunset! Take a picture! It’s so pretty!” I usually respond, “I can’t, I’m driving. Take a picture with your mind.”

©️ iido 2019

The Best Foreplay for Husbands – A Poem

you wrap your fingers
around the sponge
scrubbing
until the sink is empty
this
is how you make
me change into my lace thong

you brush his teeth
and read his favorite bedtime story
twice
while making the voices of the characters
this
is how you make
me light the scented candles

you quiz her in spelling
and listen to how another girl stole her idea for her science project
you come up with a better science project idea
and promise to help her with it on the weekend
this
is how you make
me lie in bed
skin puckered
in love
in anticipation
thinking i am the luckiest woman in the world

This poem was inspired by Rupi Kaur’s poem on page 71 of her book, milk and honey. It was prompted by Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem inspired by one written by another poet. You can read the other fantastic responses here.

Rupi Kaur’s work was a revelation when I first read it. Her words, so heart-breakingly honest in its imagery and profoundness, showed me what it meant to “write your truth”, how the ugly can still be made beautiful. It was also the first time that a poet’s authenticity gave voice to my reality as a brown Asian woman. She “got me” and I was forever changed.

©️ iido 2019