Xenia Taiga – Two Poems

China’s Da Boom


China’s the big da boom

Everywhere is ba boom

Boom boom BOOM.

(Investment he tells me. It’s all for China’s investment.)

Who will buy?

No one will buy

Construction so poorly made

So near another construction

That hangs like ghosts.

Look here, look there: yes the burning,

Say bye-bye my baby to the greens’ lush.

The egrets? The eagles?

The cows? The goats? Oh my! Where will the piggies go?

So noisy, so loud, so big ba boomish

Workers up and down

From twenty floors up scratching, scraping, pounding like the celling’s gonna cave in.

Safety bars clank bang clack from the first floor to the 25th.

What are you crazy? The kongtiao!

The mighty precious air con! Don’t you dare touch our kongtiao!

Mud, cement drips, clumps on our windows.

Clumps on the air con resting on two thin rails.

I refuse to clean

Makes it look like it’s always raining, blocks out the factory’s spurring smoke.

I like it cause its art, art, ARSE!

Buildings loom: one xiaoqu, two xiaoqu, three xiaoqu, four xiaoqu and

This little piggy went wee wee all the way home.

No one

Lives in our xiaoqu

But the workers and the big ba boom.



We Eat


Hot pot, boiling water savored with MSG,

Broth to be drunk like blood for it’s the breath of life.

Peanut sauce, sesame seed–you want? You pay more.

Taste so good.

I ask for no MSG and dishwater I drank.

Fish kaorou, barbequed on the stake.

They float, half dead, crammed in grey water with green floaties,

No, not green tea,

Green floaties. Don’t know what that is, don’t want to know.

The smelly fish ladies crudely sit on the corner with opened legs, screaming come come come.

A man comes,

Buys one and the peasant lady

Swings that fish mighty high into a Joan of Ark’s arch,

–Don’t look, don’t look, too late I looked–

And slam heads him


On the pavement dribbles blood, guts, and leftover scales fall from the butcher’s knife.

They lay twisting flapping gapping


For breath in our air.

We eat

Chicken, pale goose pimpled flesh, fatten duck and chicken feet

Clawed like aborted children’s hands;

Gnaw on them. Hmm, so good.

So big they gotta come from America,

Where we feed the rich in China.

Hmm, so big and slimy, just the way I like it

From those big fat sitting hens

Who do nothing but sit and eat, sit and eat, sit and eat;

Pecking at their bars, too lazy to walk around, too fat to stand.

We eat

Pigs’ feet, cows’ feet, cold picked cows’ stomach, cold picked pigs’ skin.

Cold pickled, fried pickled

We’re such a pickle tickle pink to eat so much.

Hmm, yes! Yes! So good, gotta try.

Cow’s tongue sliced and diced with green cilantro and red peppers,

Sauced with vinegar and for sure MSG.

Um, hmm so good so bad

Just use a little at home, all this MSG, so bad but hmm so good

Cause we don’t want no dishwater to drink.

by Xenia Taiga

Notes on Author’s Work:

As well as these two poems, more of the work of Xenia Taiga can be found in the January 2013 and March 2013 issues of Eastlit. Her picture also made the cover of the Eastlit April 2013.

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