A Biogenesis of Processed Singapore Noodles

A Biogenesis of Processed Singapore Noodles


for Mary Nazareth


…a case of you,


…it’s a sin, whispers the Reaper (in the tinny voice of Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant) right into your ear


…“mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”



…a rumble in the box,


…a kick to the system


…a cyst in the bun



…on the move,


…searching for the Elusive One, patrolling the aisles of Hy-Vee at Coralville, Iowa, one hot Wednesday, past peaches and penumbras, ol’ wino Walt, ransacking among packs and stacks of ramen, lamian, udon, yakisoba, vermicelli, pho, guksu, fusilli, fettuccine, rigatoni


…as man barrels, head-on, into the Anthropocene, the sixth mass extinction in the history of Planet Earth



…earthworms, wriggling,


…outside: dangling, mid-air, clasped between chopsticks, shiver


…inside: nestling, warm serpentine, slippery in cavity, days after





…through tractus digestorius (mouth to anus), canalis alimentarius (aesophagus to large intestine), canalis gastrointestinales (stomach to large intestine)


…coagulates, gurgles, gargles





...as the gastrointestinal specialist points out, the following are caused by tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative used: delirium, nausea, anaphylactic shock, vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, suffocation, tinnitus (ringing in the ears)


…last night, a lymph node pops up under armpit



…part of you pours out of me,


…hugs face


…bursts from chest



…a block of yellow, unstrung, boiling in a cup,


…the desperation after hamburgers, sandwiches, cereals, fish and chips, yoghurt, sandwiches, organic fruits, calamari, burrata, crab rangoon, chicken panzanella, pan-seared Atlantic rockfish, shrimp ceviche, frutti di mare from Basta, nachos with spinach and artichoke dip, plain or whole wheat pita filled with hummus, Mediterranean salads, babba ganoush and falafel, couscous, wood oven focaccia, spaghetti bolognese, grilled chicken alfredo, eggplant parmesan, shrimp arrabbiata, porchetta, hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, quesadilla with guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo, meatloaf, the Iowa Waltz pizza from the Mill with bacon, walnuts, apples, asiago, mozzarella, honey, on a thin crust, quattro formaggi, blue roast beef panini, those frozen wontons were so freaking hard you spat them out, BLAT sandwich, curry butterscotch squash bisque from Fair Grounds, filet mignon, hanger steak grilled medium-rare, rosemary red potatoes, fire roasted broccolini, salsa verde, in-house smoked Scottish salmon from Baroncini served with shaved carrot and blanched onion salad accompanied by gorgonzola mousse and bread crostini, olive oil and caviar


…anything but





…soaked, gooey, bits of dehydrated celery, bean sprout and pak choi raining confetti


…substitute for the real thing



…slipping into refugia,


…a whiff of creamy coconut milk and a fragrant spice blend of turmeric, cumin and chillies stings the air


…but there’s no such thing as the real thing


…heaven or hell in a space jockey alien vessel,


…Simply Asia Singapore Street Noodles Classic Curry Pre-cooked Thin Rice Noodles & Sauce With Vegetables Serving Suggestion Microwaveable Net Wt 9.24 oz (261g) No Artificial Flavors Gluten Free Stir-in Ideas Cooked shrimp Or Chicken Bean Sprouts Chopped Cilantro Or Basil Ready In 3 minutes


            …so feast or starve



…steamed, mutating, rise from the pack,


新洲米粉 Xin Zhou Mi Fen (Hanyu Pinyin)Sing Chow Mai Fun (Cantonese)Sin Chew Bee Hoon (Singaporean Hokkien)


…taking over restaurants in Hong Kong, across Europe and North America, anywhere but

…you hiss, pharyngeal jaws snap in anticipation, saliva drip drip drip,


…my baby my ablution