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Saturday, February 28, 2015



At each Philadelphia subway station, signs have been put up to dissuade potential suicides from jumping onto the tracks.



Dennis Leary said...

Hi. I found your site-home by way of ICH where I've enjoyed your articles for some time. I remember the one you did taking Amtrak through Wisconsin where I once lived. Recognized the very places.

I'd send you some money but I'm intimidated by and just don't like money-changing brokers like PayPal.

The photos today are thought makers, if changed a bit. Cut off the sign at "National Suicide," for example. Sort of fits with "End of America."

A couple of years ago I was using the shelters in my small town in S. Cal., run by churches mainly. They gave us a meal every evening in various church halls and we didn't have to leave until 7 or 8 am. I shiver and shutter to think of below zero cold in Philly; at 75 I'd die. Shelters are better than nothing but they're worse than anything those in the comfort zone would put up with. Damn, what an ice cold stone heart culture we inhabit, and I include myself. Your work is a reminder of how lucky I am in comparison with others in a living hell.

Elizabeth's long post below in italics was educational. I would qualify her idea of ideological. Most are whacked but all? I present an ideology at; and I know of no one except myself who doesn't think it's crazy. It's an ideology that helps keep me sane; I just have to think of this screwed up world and I'm resigned to being an island in an ocean of sharks and minnows.

Anyhoo, you and Elizabeth appear to be the exceptions to the rulers. I mean, there are a lot of well intentioned people on this road to hell, and fair analysts all, but I've yet to hear from anyone who has a real solution. I think I do but then I'm crazy.

I'd better stop now for fear this won't go through, and I will have wasted time. Cheers.

Dennis Leary said...

Hi again. It looks like this works so I'll add a ps. On the sign about mattresses, cross out the word "tired." That fits with end of America and national suicide. Gallows humor. Can I smother myself with a mattress or strangle myself with a phone cord per the other sign? How does it feel to be a sign of the times?

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for your comments and for sharing your experience of shelters.

Ali Razeen, a long time reader of and contributor to this blog, is visiting me from North Carolina, and last night, I took Ali to Cantina Los Caballitos so Ali could see for himself what kind of restaurant Angel used to work at. As dinner for two people would easily run to $80, we didn't go in but only looked at it from the outside, and the place was packed with a fashionably dressed clientele, and of course, all of the waitstaff, at least the ones we could see from outside the windows, were very trendy looking as well.

So Angel went from that millieu to the sidewalk within weeks, and Ali was like, "I can't fuckin believe this."


x larry said...

interesting, so far, website dennis leary mentioned. was the love government inspired by wilhelm reich at all, i wonder? cheers,

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Dinh,

I've been reading your postcards on CounterCurrents for some time. I very much appreciate your work. I've looked for your writings in my local library but they don't have any. I know thinss are bad in our country and getting worse but much of the misery is well hidden. Dennis


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.