Custom Search


Welcome to my blog!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eggplant Poems

Yep, that's right! I wrote two poems about the eggplant dish Imam Bayildi or Imam Fainted for my poetry book. I love that dish and I think food is one of the important parts of traveling.

One poem is a prose piece, the other a rondel. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Imam Bayildi

Cut the eggplant in half, let the loud
laughter begin as your fingers turn
  a deep purple, shriveling with the water,
cold, a frigidness, sprinkling from the spigot.

"One time in a Turkish restaurant," you begin,
"Imam Fainted sounded funny--"
you begin to pause, thinking how ridiculous
your fear was to try it, unsure of what to think.
  "why not try it? I thought. I'm glad I did!"
  Slowly removing the seeds, the motions mechanical,
  spooning them into a blue and green bowl for later.

"I had so much fun talking with the waiter,
getting ideas what I can make for gatherings,
so much fun learning about Turkish cultures,
viewing the Quranic artwork, Arabic in gold.
  I'm glad my friend shared this recipe with me
  and translated it for me, since I could only find it
  in perplexing Turkish - a combination between German and Arabic.

The chopped tomatoes leave a pink stain
on the white counter top.
A family favorite - dad is excited about cleaning.
"How did the dish get its name?
Imam Fainted is such an odd name. Did one faint?"

"In old Turkish tales,
a wife made this dish
and when the Imam asked for the recipe,
he fainted when she told him
how much Extra Virgin Olive Oil she used."

I stuff the eggplants;
the garlic, onion, tomatoes, seeds, cous cous.
I place them in the two cups of olive oil.
Dad might faint with the mess,
but the eggplant and Iranian chicken are delicious!

Eggplants of South 4th Street

"Imam Fainted," the Turkish waiter said,
"is stuffed eggplant with tomatoes so red,
garlic so potent and eating with no rules."
Amazed that a quick lunch turned into school,
he walked away and I began to look ahead.

When the dish was brought out with pita bread,
the white porcelain lighter than silver lead;
he sat down beside me on a leather stool--
"Imam Fainted," the Turkish waiter said,

"a favorite in Philly and Turkey." silence no longer dead,
as a succulent eggplant sat in a wild rice bed
and the tomatoes the colour of a blushing fool;
"just let the vegetables cook in oil," his only rules
"Imam Fainted," the Turkish waiter loudly said.

These are pictures from when Claire and I went to the Turkish restaurant. I had my beloved Imam Fainted and she had lamb. I should write a poem about this. Maybe about having a meal with friends in this restaurant - talking over pita bread and delish Turkish cuisine, while talking to an older couple waiting to go to the Opera. :)

Me eating back in May.

Maybe I'll write about the strongness of Turkish tea next. :)


  1. I like the first one a little better, but they're both good. The alliteration in the first one grabs me.


    1. Hi Janie,

      Thank you for your feedback! I like the first one better too - more freedom than the rondel. Don't get me wrong, I love rondels, but certain things work better in rondels.

      Today after work I'll be working on more food poetry. :) Food poetry is surprisingly fun, even if it makes me hungry in the process.


  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, lately I've been in book mode. Hoping to have everything done by early 2016.