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Thursday, August 21, 2014













When the stock market crashed in 2008, my friend, Anwar lost $146,000, his life savings, and also his house. Unchastened, he's continued to invest in stocks with the little he earns selling purses at a shopping mall kiosk, a business that's gone down considerably. Like a lunatic, Anwar spends most of his waking hours jotting down the changes in his stocks nearly minute-by-minute, as if there's any intelligible pattern to decipher. Even with fresh losses, he has repeatedly declared himself an "expert," while at other times, he's so in despair, his eyes redden. Above, I reproduce a few of Anwar's bizarre charts. He has reams of these. The first image is a detail.

(I've also written about Anwar in this 2013 poem and 2010 article.)


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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.