Some short poems by Isaac Eide


My Turn

If you love everything.

If you hate everything.

If you do not know where to turn.

Write.

And you will turn,

   al(l)ways.

I Magi

Imagine there were no cracks in the universe.

Imagine that fit snugly together and had a that it was meant to be.

Imagine now that the opposite of that in actuality the opposite of that is happening.

A swirling mass of messy particles bumping into each other existing in all the places at once and simultaneously nowhere. Imagine.

Now imagine.

Imagine now.

Image.

I magi.

I’m a.

I’m.

I am.

I

imagine

therefore…

By the End

By the end of this poem I will know what I am doing.

By the end of this poem you will know what I am doing.

-Isaac Eide

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Resistance


  1. What does it mean to resist? When our head interferes with our heart, in our art, when our flow is interrupted, when there is disruption in our receptivity, we are resisting.
  2. Writing itself is resistance.
  3. I went to Barefoot College in Tilonia, one of the poorest villages in rural India. I saw puppets educating elders on matters of social justice and musicians educating children on social change.
  4. A kathak dancer, Mallika Sarabhai goes to villages all over India. She educates women on menstrual hygiene through theatre.
  5. I vomited on stage, an Aftertaste of my arrival in America. It was a play about the international experience.
  6. When I was seven, I wrote an angry letter to my grandfather when he wouldn’t listen. We cannot talk back, we need to respect our elders my culture preaches. I scrunched my letter into a ball and threw it at him. He threw it out of the window.
  7. I spoke about reclaiming my voice, my accent at Naropa.
  8. My parents challenge customer care representatives everytime they answer the phone. My parents’ accent “confuses them”. Dear America, must you only understand the norm?
  9. “What is the relevance of writing? Will it get you a job?” my father said.
  10. I speak perfect English. Are you waiting for me to talk in Hindi, will that make me more exotic? Will that make my activism special? Chutiye saale
  11. Two Indian Americans speak about the terror attacks in a school in Peshawar in broken Hindi at a silent vigil. My friend from Pakistan walks out. Must we always voice that which we don’t understand?
  12. Must we always have a cause to resist?
  13. Can’t we just lie down on the grass and enjoy this sunny day?
  14. Please don’t call my approach radical.

Chipotle


Today my aunt asked me to change my home address from India to New Jersey on my resume for a job at Chipotle.

My cousin said, “My appetite after coming to USA has increased. I can finish an entire rice bowl at Chipotle.”

Assimilation has varied forms.

New beginnings


Being alone has a very negative connotation to it. Till recently, I viewed being alone as something lonely, something scary. I was out alone in the world, with no one to turn to, with no one to guide me. What I didn’t realize what that for the first time in my life, I had no one making decisions for me. I was free to craft my own circumstances, my own life, and my own identity. I could be whoever and whatever I wanted to be. This got me thinking and I realized we fear change, we fear this aloneness, when our supports are withdrawn. We feel crippled. We no longer have our supports enslaving us; we are free. We resist freedom not enslavement. Enslavement is comfortable, it is something we know. It has the scent of familiarity.

I was talking to a friend about the difficult and challenging experience of living abroad and he told me, “I understand you’re lonely there. I wouldn’t be able to live there. I surrounded by people here, yet I feel lonely. I guess I am addicted to the loneliness among people I know.” This showed me we are weak, vulnerable creatures willing to cling to the first semblance of enslavement because the new scares us. It holds no promises. It shines in the bleak horizon of uncertainty. We fear the new, we fear new creation. We had rather cling to the old than build something new.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Marianne Williamson

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