I like both Chinese Food and Poetry by Soodabeh Saeidnia

As far as I know, I have liked Chinese food
as much as I’ve liked reading a doggerel
I would be depressed, if I noticed that
they have run out of noodle soups
and Zhajiangmian (with a Cantonese accent)
but at the same time, I would be more upset,
if I realized that there is no space
to pen a satiric persona poem in a Chinese restaurant
How close is racism to privilege, and
implication to congratulation?
Oh American foodies, please
let me suck my noodles
and read New Yorker’s lines
while my made-in-China cigarette
burns forgotten on the ashtray


This poem is in response to the news about the writer Calvin Trillin’s poem in the April 4 issue of The New Yorker describes, in the voice of an exasperated American foodie, the varieties of Chinese cuisine now available. Some readers found it hard to swallow.

Wall by Soodabeh Saeidnia


I am a wall and I am not
I was made of data bricks. I was never built up
I never had the windows. I had a window
with a bitten apple on it, opened toward another wall

I was a female wall and I was not
I was never male nor female
nor did I have any sexual affinity
I belonged to a writer. I did not belong to anybody

I was a wall right on the borders
between understanding and doubting
between the Exons and Introns of a DNA
when it goes to be copied in the body

and Introns must be removed by splicing
during the maturation of the RNAs
I was the interpretation of those borders
The ancestors needed a reason for boundaries

I was that reason in lack of the science but
I am not a reason for any border-walls
in the third millennium proposed by
anybody even you Mr. Trump

I was a wall built for segregation
in between prisoners and freemen,
the eastern and western towns, the northern
and southern countries, Jews and Muslims

I was always a wall. I used to be a wall
in need of an opened window
toward an apple garden. I hate the walls
I never hate anything or anybody except a wall