This play was written and performed for Abu Dhabi’s Short and Sweet festival, and won four awards including “Best Overall” and “People’s Choice”.
you try to pronounce each dish’s name
and it rolls off your tongue like a mango bruised, gone bad —
but your mother tongue is a sharp longing for sour tamarind soup.
this poem began in the belly of a fish in the south china sea, which was then caught, fried, and served
as a seven-dollar meal, rice included, at barrio fiesta in lucky plaza. this poem began on a yellowing page
in an unchecked library book about jose rizal’s noli me tangere.
I am stretched out like a supple canvas for her / Massaging / We liked colors and shapes …
Written by Mhraf Worku
As the memory of my mother faded away, / my tongue started to roll differently / and the words spilling out …
the south american continent somewhere like a slice of bread
ready for the touch of a knife. cut
and spread the shrimp soft pink like a tongue
once bled from a continent buttered up
with a colonial language.
Taste the feeling / Of metal chewing flesh and / Children making clothes …
If you haven’t already heard about what happened, look up the words “Masterchef UK”, “Rendang”, and “Zaleha” on Youtube. Zaleha Kadir Olpin, a Malaysian chef, was eliminated from Masterchef UK after serving “judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace a beloved Malaysian dish, Ayam Rendang…
No more white gaze on my agile tongue speaking a fifth language with an
No more white gaze on the “cheaper” countries in the world, people subjected to
A VALUE SYSTEM /
Of more than and less than /
That they have no control over whatsoever.
Old Cantonese man with a wrinkly face smiles /
As young Malaysian Chinese girl shyly points to the poulet au champignon noir…