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Sunday, February 27, 2011

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Laotian-temple--Point-Breeze-2












Laotian-temple--Point-Breeze









This is a Laotian temple on the edge of Point Breeze, a pretty dismal and dangerous neighborhood. Seeing me prowling around, these kind folks invited me in. They even offered me lunch. Finding out that I was Vietnamese, the head monk said, "Đẹp lắm!", meaning "Very beautiful!" He wasn't referring to me, of course. It was the only Vietnamese he knew. I myself don't know a single Laotian word.

The Laotians are known to be remarkably gentle. In the US, you hear about Vietnamese and Cambodian gangs, but never Laotian. I'm sure there must be some, but I've never heard of one.

It is well known that, during the Vietnam War, the US dropped more bombs on Laos than it did in all of Europe during WWII. About 30% of these, including cluster bombs, didn't explode on impact, so Laotians will continue to be killed by the US for decades to come.








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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.