by Don Mee Choi
I, Lack-a-daisy, born two miles from here. Here is DMZ. In fact, I, Lack-a-daisy, born two miles from every place you’ve been. How orange – yes, ma’am. I, Lack-a-daisy, born two miles from every place you’ve been, which is known as the human core, which translates to born two miles from every flowering bellybutton. Here is DMZ. Mark-a-daisy. Every belly is a suspect. I, Lack-a-daisy, born two miles from every place, every suspect, every petal kicked open, am deeply moved by world memories. There is no choice in the matter. What are world memories? It turns out that they are war memories. And what are war memories? They are orphan memories. Orphan memories are like the fetuses thrown out in bottles. Fishy smelling blood clots. I, Lack-a-daisy, never saw the fetus-filled bottles with my own eyes, but when you are a little girl, what you hear is as good as seeing with your very own eyes. Here is DMZ. We talk about blood in at great length. Fetuses captivate our imagination, particularly orphan fetuses. After all, I, myself, was nearly an orphan fetus. Luckily, I happily survived. I, Lack-a-daisy, thank orphan memories. I’m bloody fetal. I’m purely petal.
I’m hardly war. Now, ask me a difficult question.
How orange – yes, ma’am. He’s my son.
1 I, Lack-a-daisy=like a daisy=lack a daisy=like a daisy=I, Lack-a-daisy
2 Nine nine=mind your daisy=9 9=paisley daisy
3 Motherly stamen=style style=overly ovaries!
4 O fear veer=you are my Schneewittchen
5 Or 0?=Do you know?=O or 5?=Do you know?=Yi Sang knows
7 I style stigma=style anther=then sepal ovule=Over
6 I sang=I sang=like a daisy
6 I fugue=I fugue=like a daisy
8 I nearly=narrowly=ovary=Over
9 Paisley Daisy
9 Oopsy Daisy
10 Or Lyndon?
9 Or Barry?
8 Or Crazy?
7 Oxeye Daisy?
6 Or I Sang?
5 Or London?
4 Or Yoke?
3 Or Vote?
2 Or 18?
1 Overly Overly
0 We must love one another or die
The photo on the left was taken by my father during the Vietnam war, at the border, the demilitarized zone. The refugee girl with a boy is North Vietnamese. Daisy Girl photo on the right is from Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential campaign ad against Barry Goldwater. “Daisy Girl,” developed by DDB, aired only once on NBC on September 7, 1964. Yi Sang was a modern experimental poet during Korea’s colonial period, under the Japanese rule. He created offensive wordplays with numbers in his poems and was able to get away with it despite the severe censorship. Zero pronounced as letter o sounds the same as number 5 in Korean. Numbers 4 and 18 are a play on the Korean words for death and fuck. “We must love one another or die” is from “September 1. 1939” by W.H. Auden. The Daisy Girl ad has Lyndon B. Johnson’s voiceover: “…We must either love each other, or we must die.”