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Monday, April 2, 2012

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Reincarnation-of-Pancho-Villa--El-Paso








Denizen of the famously haunted, one-hundred-year-old De Soto Hotel, this man is the reincarnation of Pancho Villa, he said. A loan shark and witch doctor put a curse on him when he called the cops to report on this other man's drug dealing, but the cops had been paid off, so they threatened him, Pancho Villa, instead. Keep your mouth shut or we'll lock you up! The loan shark/witch doctor/drug dealer then caused a tumor to appear in his right foot, but Pancho found another witch doctor to cure him, so that had been solved. In any case, he had more important stuff to deal with. He had a plan, he said. He will take all the money from the United States government and give it to people who actually deserve it. He will bring all the Japanese to the US, to make up for them being destroyed during WWII. The US paid 37 countries to bully Japan, General Villa said. He will also bring Vietnamese to the US and Chihuahua, and ship all Americans to Africa. When I said that I was Vietnamese, he asked, Why did all these big countries mess with Vietnam all those years? Why did China stay for 20 years? Russia for 20 years? And the US for 20 years? I had to help him, he said, and he didn't mean anything small or stupid. He meant I had to help him get even with that loan shark/witch doctor/drug dealer, and to fix what's wrong with the world.



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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy and England. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), 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 Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. 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, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.