Ode to Orange Chicken

Poetry / Alex Dang

:: Ode to Orange Chicken ::

I, too, have been described by 
my ancestors as too sweet, 
dumbed down, inauthentic, made 
to satiate American bellies and 
melt on the same tongues who 
spat in our food, called it uncivilized, 
barbaric, dirty, cooked from rats, 
off strapped backs of dynamite. 
I, too, have skin golden and glazed, 
to be ripped open by white teeth 
and be left even whiter meat. 
We are found in greasy take out boxes 
deemed unworthy of recognition. 
Eaten both by fork and chopstick alike, 
this American-Chinese dish, 
cheap, affordable, wanted by none, 
but a happy compromise. 




From the writer

:: Account ::

I imag­ine art as a vehi­cle that allows us to trav­el to a des­ti­na­tion. For me, the trip begins with truth and ends with the art arriv­ing at an emo­tion. The truth is that when I look at myself, I some­times only see what Amer­i­ca sees me as. Some­times I only see myself as my diag­no­sis. And there are so many times where I see myself in oth­ers: my favorite musi­cian, a come­di­an, my moth­er and father. I have been led to joy or anger or laugh­ter in more ways than I can count. This time, I’m dri­ving, so that means we start with my truth and we end with my heart. I’m most inter­est­ed in form and con­tent as my vehi­cle to dri­ve the audi­ence to the emo­tion­al points that I was expe­ri­enc­ing. I trust that the read­er will sit in the front seat while I dri­ve and while maybe they don’t like the songs I’m play­ing or the streets I’m tak­ing, but hope­ful­ly when we reach our des­ti­na­tion, we’ll get out of the car and enjoy the view. 


Alex Dang is a poet from Port­land, Ore­gon. A for­mer TEDx speak­er, Dang com­pet­ed at the Nation­al Poet­ry Slam, was a Port­land and Eugene Poet­ry Slam Grand Slam Cham­pi­on, and has per­formed in 7 coun­tries. He has strong opin­ions about burg­ers. He wants to know what your favorite song is.