Omakase Dining

Ah, little did I imagine
what the meal would be–
Italian omakase menu like
tomato ice cream, an appetizer,
iced lardo (that’s lard), with roasted
polenta, foie gras inside a faux
purple potato–you get the drift.

Chef Simone showed his house
overlooking the sea in Sardinia.
The beach, the beach!
His son Mario called to say.
In love as deep as the sea,
the birth date tattooed onto
one arm in Roman numerals.

Across the cultures we talked.
In a gallery of faces passing through
the hall’s Corinthian columns yet
bless our souls, in a familial
language thick through Italian accent,
a father’s love was simply not
lost in translation.


In case you’re not familiar, Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it up to you”, you meaning “the chef”. To quote Wiki, customers ordering omakase style expect the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes, and the meal can be likened to an artistic performance by the chef. Dining like this comes with an element of surprise because you don’t know what’s on your table next. I just had my first omakase experience and it was like a total dining experience because the chef popped by our table in between courses “to chat”. That turned out to be totally delightful and personal. Anyway you guessed it, the prompt is to write about a food experience.

Is “omakase” a new word to you? Then you might like to try out another word. As an alternative, we have a dictionary prompt brought to you by my guest prompter, Josh Medsker. This is from Josh:

Dictionary Entries at Random

If you ever feel yourself stuck in word patterns with your fiction, and especially poetry, try this: Go to a dictionary and flip to a random page. Point to any entry, and force yourself to use that word in your piece. If you don’t have a dictionary handy, for god sakes, go buy one.

Contrary to what many may think, inspiration isn’t something you wait for–it’s something you practice. This constraining exercise will force you to think on your feet and challenge you to find new ways of communicating.

You can find Josh here.


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