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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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Charles-with-shot-up-image-of-Martin-Luther-King--Kensington








“What’s up with that? Are those bullet holes?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“Your shots?”

“No, I love the man! I got it from this guy I was working for. He had three portraits of Martin Luther King he was using for target practice, and I asked him if I could have them all, so he gave them to me.”

“It’s pretty weird to see it like that.”

“I just put it up as a conversation piece, to get people talking, you know. There are a lot of prejudiced people in this neighborhood, but I ain’t one of them. The Puerto Ricans, they’re prejudiced too. They don’t even like themselves! I love Martin Luther King, and I voted for Obama, twice! I’m half Italian and half Jewish. My parents met in Africa. I’m not prejudiced at all. One of my tenants was this Thai woman. She lived with me forever.”


[Kensington]



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3 comments:

Betsy said...

Well this is an amazing image & story! Thank you so much for all you do Linh!

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Betsy,

I'd walked by this MLK image before, and never knew what was up, so I was glad to meet Charles. I'm working on a Kensington Postcard. It should be up by tomorrow afternoon.

Linh

Linh Dinh said...

Someone just posted this, then erased it, apparently:

"Does he know the guy walking down the middle of the road - Google Street View opposite 2424 Kensington Ave, PA"

Well, lots of people walk right down the middle of Kensington Ave. The other day, I saw a deaf mute guy gesticulating and making all sorts of noise in the middle of the Ave as he went from car to car...


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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.