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Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Bill-with-Phanatic--Center-City










Bill, 62, is an actor and comedian. To pay the bills, he has worked a bunch of jobs, including driving a taxi and being a prison guard. He served three years in the Army, spent some time in Okinawa. Diagnosed as bipolar, his disability checks certainly help. The most he has ever made acting, in any single year, was $4,200. He was in 19 episodes of 30 Rock, but only as a non speaking character, flitting in the background.

Bill was born in Mayfair, a mostly Irish neighborhood, one of several in Philly, and perhaps the most livable. The last time I saw Bill, he was renting in Point Breeze, a pretty crappy part of town that has gotten even worse, crime wise. Point Breeze is about 10 minutes, walking, from my front door. Bill has since moved to Center City.

Bill showed me some wrinkles in the crook of his right elbow, "They're new. Even last year, I didn't see them."

"Ah, you're finished, Bill! You're done!"



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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.