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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hinsdale, Montana


Since you ask, I’d say we’re hard working,
Don’t care for surface and trusting. Here,
Your words are like the words of God.
If you lie once, people will remember.

Our town did well during the Vietnam War
Because of the Glasgow Air Force Base.
That’s where I met my husband, by the way.
We used to have three bars, two grocery stores,
Two hotels and even a car dealership. Now,
There are just Stoughie’s Bar and Grill and a
New coffee shop, Sweet Memories. We’re down
To 217 people, and everyone’s white except
For five Indians and two Mexicans.
Also, farming isn’t what it used to be.

Our big social event of the year is the
Street dance, BBQ, high school reunion
And rodeo around the Fourth of July.
A country band would play, but mostly
We just visit each other and chatter.
You can fish for walleyes in the Milk River.

My mother is 90. When she graduated
From high school, her class had 110 kids.
Mine only had 12, and this year’s seniors
Were just four girls and a boy. There was
Another boy, but he died in a car crash.


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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 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 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). 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, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.