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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A reader just asked about my past articles about voting,

so here they all are:



Party Poopery, with Confetti
9/7/12


The recently deceased Reverend Moon ain’t got ish on American politicians when it comes to mesmerizing the masses. I mean, Moon could only get, what, a million couple to wed, sans courtship, dinners, drinks and kisses, and even without a common language, but an American politician can induce an entire nation to say “I do” to their own death. Amazing is right.

Several nights of watching the Republican and Democratic National Conventions has left me with post-traumatic stress disorder, at least, if not permanently brain damaged, but maybe it’s better this way. Thinking is hard, because it exposes one to contradictions and hypocrisies, in oneself and others. When Bill Clinton presented himself as Mr. Prosperity, for example, I couldn’t help but think, Hey, isn’t this the guy who repealed Glass-Steagall, which led directly to the banking shenanigans that destroyed our economy, from which we have not, and won’t any time soon, recover? And didn’t Clinton, through NAFTA and “free trade,” open the flood gate to offshoring, thus causing the job hemorrhaging that will cripple us into the foreseeable future? A key saboteur of the American economy, society and way of life, Clinton now painted himself as their ultimate defender, and yet the lemmings cheered and applauded. I mean, who are these people? Don’t they have a memory? Are they insane? Many of them were dressed like clowns, but still.

During one of these endless sessions of cosplay, Michelle Obama appeared as a hybrid of Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale, a comforter of sufferers, especially kids. Military families are her special concern, she said, stuttering often to convey authenticity and choked up emotions, as if she could barely find the right words to express her gratitude and grief, though the teleprompter was always there, of course. As her husband destroys family after family, American and foreign, through his many wars, Michelle commiserates, very photogenically, I must say, with some (American) loved ones left behind. Do you know that 20% of US Army troops are on at least their third tour of duty to either Iraq or Afghanistan? What are they fighting for again? Not access to oil, natural gas and opium, no way, but to contain Al Qaeda, our government claims, though the US has admitted to backing Al Qaeda in its undeclared war on Syria. The US created Al Qaeda in the first place, remember?

Hardly anyone remembers anything, apparently, and some of those who do, who must know better, are lying. Speaking about the Vietnam War, Kerry famously said in 1971, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Now, he’s extolling our current rabble of mercenaries, desperate fools and psychopaths as this nation’s “most exceptional men and women” who are “on the front lines every day defending America.” To invade and occupy foreign countries and kill their people, mostly civilians, is not to defend this country, Mr. Kerry, but to sow hatred and invite blowbacks, it is to dishonor America, but of course Kerry already knows this, but as a politician, he has to stick to this tiresome imperial shtick. If great wealth wasn’t enough to corrupt, then decades on the Hill would almost certainly do it.

Fast and furious, the lies and spins kept thundering down onto the assembled bozos, in Charlotte and at home. Ducking, I nearly flung a Molotov cocktail at my flat screen. Next came Shinseki to reassure us that returning grunts were taken care of, and there would be no more homeless vets by 2015. Holy scitan! Last time I checked, there were more homeless vets than ever, and military suicide was spiking like crazy, but what the intercourse do I know? I’m just a clueless war refugee, like Mitt Romney.

Exhaling a colorless, noxious yet EPA-sanctioned fume cocktail, Romney promised 12 million new trabajos in the next eight years, while Obama, pinned by a track record, could only trumpet that he had created four million jobs in nearly four years. Since it takes 125,000 new jobs a month to just keep pace with population growth, Obama has been treading water, if that. In fact, an empty chair couldn’t have done much worse. At least it wouldn’t have started more wars, and created a kill list that can target anyone, including Americans.

If nothing else, these conventions showcased the advance state of American acting, with the best performances turned in by purported amateurs, who outshined, by far, the two pros on stage, Clint Eastwood and Eva Longoria, though Eastwood is decades beyond his prime. And so it goes. Every four years, the American masses are sucked into this farcical contest, where each side ridicules and blames the other for their joint failures, though they play for the same corporate team, the military banking complex. It’s funny how they routinely accuse each other of being clueless, yet their looting and destruction of the world and America have been relentlessly systematic. When your business is war, no war is pointless, and they rape all nations within reach, including this one, obviously. Stuffed with Wall Street cash, they will pretend to fight for Main Street, instead of against it. Serving the bosses of bosses, they will jive, awshuck and heehaw with the working men while on stage or the campaign trail.

Courting your votes, they always resort to the well-worn tactics of every horny cad, the empty flattery, the promise of a rosy future together, the declaration that each is uniquely meant for the other, and that the other guy is a fake, if not an outright asshole. So cast your ballot here for four more years of the worst sex imaginable. You will so wish you were an eternal virgin on a forgotten space station.

Meanwhile, the country sinks further and further because that’s exactly what our rulers want. Each dime that goes to the working and middle classes means one less for the mega corporations and banks, and that's why our politicians will always choose their bosses’ profits over any improvement to your life. The much ballyhooed restructuring of student loans was inevitable because so many graduates were defaulting, with 53% unable to find a full-time job. The patients had to be kept alive, in short, so the parasitic banks could continue to suck their blood. Done, these vampires will feast on our children, then our children’s children, for no country has burdened its future generations with so much debts. Remember also that the banking cartel, through their Federal Reserve racket, is loaning you fiat money they have generated out of nothing.

Clinton promises that we will soon “feel” the economic recovery, and incredibly, there are those who believe him, but if you’re not a tenured professor, trust fund kid, comfortably retired or just incredibly stupid, then it is not unreasonable to snarl or guffaw. Say what?! If you happen to be a small businessman, or know a few, then you already know, with much anguish, that we are not in any kind of a recovery. Two years ago, I wrote about Mrs. Fischel, owner of a meat and cheese shop at my local shopping mall. Well, after 35 years in business, the last several in the red, she and her husband had decided to shut down. It was deeply humiliating, this turn of event. During her store’s last days, as her shelves emptied and most of her employees laid off, she even told long-time customers, “We’re just renovating. We’ll be back soon,” but everyone could see that her eyes were moist and red. Gone was the chatty woman with a plastic spoon in her shirt pocket, and the annoying habit, it must be said, of dipping said spoon into whatever dish you happen to be eating. “Hey, that’s pretty good,” she would proclaim, or, “Not too bad!” Just days after the shutdown, I received a text from her husband, “Millie went mad. Took all her stuff n left home. Said I should find another broad.” They have been married 37 years.

So don’t be telling the Fischels about no recovery. It ain’t happening. The mall itself, the Gallery, is falling apart. Recently the escalators in the main atrium were left broken for two weeks, so the mostly rotund clientele had to trudge up and down, and there’s a broken pipe that geysers whenever there’s a storm, flooding the floor and chasing off even more business. Like malls across America, this one is dying. I’ve seen a bunch. Each night, a dozen homeless sleep in the colonnade behind the Gallery, as evidenced by the pieces of cardboard and newspaper, their beddings, left behind each morning.

Similar situations are multiplying across the country, so if you want more of the same, more unemployment, bankruptcies and wars, then vote D or R this November, but I have another proposal. As a first step in a radically new direction, we must boycott this coming election and deny it of all legitimacy, and we shouldn’t do this passively, by staying at home. Instead, we should turn out in massive, unprecedented numbers on election day, in each city and town, not to vote but to announce to the world, and to posterity, that these politicians don’t represent us, that these elections are mere charades masking the fact that America no longer has a representative democracy. Before we can say yes to anything else, we must say no to this ongoing madness. To vote for mass murderers is to soak our own hands in blood, and we are only signing our own death warrants when we endorse, yet again, sinister manipulators who are openly working against our interests, and sending us overseas to kill or be killed, just to fatten their bank accounts. Enough!




Voting for Death
10/2/12


America, you have become a nation of enablers and apologists for tyranny and mass murder. You condemn the Nazi and gulag guards of times past even as you celebrate your own mercenaries and torturers, even as you explain away, if not outright cheer, the unspeakable crimes committed by your sons and daughters. You don’t care who you kill, as long as your soldiers are paid, and your munitions, bomb and tank factories are humming.

Safely ensconced in academic luna parks, your leading intellectuals lean slightly right or left, but never enough to rock this blazing gunboat, lest they sour the cocktail parties or, god forbid, have their tenure revoked. Mouths stuffed with antipasti, they’re expert at sidestepping Israel’s prolific crimes, 9/11, Bin Laden’s faux death or the parasitic Federal Reserve, and as another joke election nears, they’re all gung ho about candidates who back illegal wars and banking frauds, since each is supposedly the lesser of two evils.

For the past five presidential elections, winning candidates have won 52.9%, 50.7%, 47.9%, 49.2% and 43% of the popular votes respectively, so there hasn’t been an overwhelming mandate for any of them, but with the runner ups from the other major party often close behind, and in 2000, actually ahead in the popular vote count, the two-party system has gotten a stranglehold on our public life and pocketbooks. As for our senators, only two are not Democrat or Republican. An American election, then, is basically a rigged referendum for this thoroughly corrupt and murderous system, and simply by voting, you will give it the green light to go on killing and looting. Every four years, we’re railroaded into sanctioning endless war and bottomless corruption. If disappointed, we’re then steered by our brainwashing and dumbing down media to a near clone of our current rapist.

The Good Old Party spooks the upper and middle classes by threatening, If you don’t vote for us, the Dems will take your hard-earned cash and give it to the freeloaders, crackheads and other miscellaneous losers, while the Democrats, in turn, scare the lower rungs by snarling, If you don’t vote for us, the Republicans will let your retired, diapered ass rot under a bridge, on a piece of cardboard, but lordy, lordy, lordy, it is already happening, but let us not sweat the details.

It is fitting that as our most important vote has become nearly meaningless, we’re offered myriad opportunities to vote for all sorts of irrelevant acts and personalities, from singing oafs to dancing buffoons, to steroid-charged sluggers. Americans have never voted so much for so little.

Each party paints the other as the greater evil, though both are equally whorish to a military banking complex that has wrought so much grief and destruction worldwide, including here. As they offshore your job, they may toss you a free cell phone or allow you to wed your same sex lover, but isn’t time, seriously, we demand that our money be spent responsibly, for our benefits? But no, we can only beg for small change, instead of real ones, and must vote, again, for proven liars and criminals, and hope, against all evidence, that they won’t impale us this time. So how does it feel to have so much evil, deceit and betrayal hardening through the entire length of your being? But what’s worst about this is that you yourself have allowed it to happen, have enabled it, if only symbolically, by voting for one of the two parties that are pro war and pro corruption. They will likely get 99% of your votes, in fact, so America will have endorsed overwhelmingly, again, an openly criminal agenda, and the world will again be aghast.

With his cartoon dynamite, Netanyahu’s recent UN speech brings to mind Powell and his phony chart before the Iraq invasion, but Bush at least tried to convince that a war was necessary, whereas Obama hasn’t even bothered. Ignoring congress and the American public, he simply ordered a massive bombing campaign against Libya, which he mockingly dubbed a “kinetic military action,” unleashed lesser strikes against Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, and sent terroristic proxies into Syria, all without significant protest from our dozing public or groveling intelligentsia.

Pumped with nonstop propaganda from our corporate media in this mad house of mirrors, we neither see nor care how others perceive us, for even as international protests mount, our flags burnt, our soldiers killed by supposed allies and poll after poll shows us among the most despised nations on earth, we still believe we’re loved and admired worldwide. Our politicians are only too glad to pander to this vanity. Romney, “We have a moral responsibility to keep America the strongest nation on earth, the hope of the earth, the shining city on the hill.” Obama, “Never bet against the United States. The United States has been, and will always be, the one indispensable nation in world affairs.” Only children believe in everlasting anything, but that’s how our daddy and mommy politicians talk to us these days.

So the world will again be aghast, as will posterity, unless we can prove that we’re not behind the winning criminal. Already, nearly half of Americans don’t cast ballots in any election, but we must make this abstention purposeful, as a clear sign of protest and not an act of apathy. The world must see that Americans aren’t all deranged and hypnotized as those who cheer and vote for one lying criminal after another. We’re better than this, so let’s prove it. Imagine thousands in public places, declaring, “NOT IN OUR NAME!” The sooner we can effect a divorce between us and our rogue government, the sooner we can get rid of it. If nothing else, to resist this electoral farce is to wash our hands, partially, at least, of the innocent blood being spilled. It is the only moral decision.




Post Election Bombs
10/17/12


If you’re a gun dealer, all shootings are good for business. Drive by, clan, gang, post layoff, adultery in flagrant, Russian roulette, Batman’s suburban theater premier, urban flash mob, gas station sniper, accidental, incidental, mercy, ruthless, righteous retaliation against unbearable diss, premeditated since infancy, Satan driven, God sanctioned, whatever, it’s all good, as long as your hardware was in use and in demand.

If you make bombs, then, no bombs are dropped in vain, whether on Serbian, Iraqi, Afghan or Libyan heads. If you make drones, the world shall be swarmed with drones, God willing. The US now accounts for 53% of arms sales worldwide. It has conceded much of its manufacturing edge to other countries, most notably China and Japan, but when it comes to weapons, Uncle Sam still kicks ass, and proud of it.

To keep this edge, now tied to its very economic survival, Uncle Sam must stoke tension worldwide. The Pentagon has just deployed Osprey aircrafts in Okinawa, thus antagonizing both the locals and China. Over a hundred thousand Okinawans have protested and clashed with police, though you wouldn’t know it from the US media. This move came just as the brouhaha between China and Japan over disputed islands was dying down. Three weeks ago, the US also provided Japan with a new missile defense system. We’ve seen this many times before from the two-faced Uncle Sam. Even as he postured for peace and asked for cooler heads, he poured gasoline.

Uncle Sam dumps gas on countless fires because he pushes guns and, well, needs lots of gasoline to keep his death and comeon machinery humming. As Daddy Yankee raps, “Dame más gasolina!” But it’s never enough. Fearing China, many East Asian nations are leaning on the US as a counterbalance, but Uncle Sam will lead them all down that brown creek, then leave them swirling. He himself risks being flushed down the old plumbing.

Meanwhile, halfway across the globe, Turkey has just intercepted a Syrian plane flying from Moscow to Damascus, thus provoking Putin into postponing a trip to Istanbul. There’s no way Turkey would jeopardize its relationship with Russia if it hasn’t been prodded by Uncle Sam. American-backed foreign terrorists can’t bring down the Syrian government, you see, so Turkey is being enlisted to ratchet up that war. It must keep the fire burning until after the US Election, at least, when America and her European Union fighting poodles, Nobel Peace Laureates all, can themselves blunder into the carnage.

As NATO becomes Blackwater writ large, Europe declares itself a continent of Gandhis. This bizarre act of self congratulation conjures up John Sayle’s middle-aged barfly, “White folks get stranger all the time.” Well, not all white folks, obviously, but surely the transnational white leadership, although it’s fronted, for now, by one black face. He’s so suave, he’s my prez!

US sham elections always usher in the same mass murdering gang whose members are divided roughly 50/50 among Pubs and Crats. No other hand signs allowed! Working together to wreck the common man, their supposed constituency, they’ll blame each other for their joint disaster. Renewed every four years, this charade is absorbed with a straight face by “experts” in our corporate media. Meanwhile, our mostly irrelevant American intellectual wrings his hands, wheezes, burps most postmodernly and eyes yet another refreshingly fresh freshman class.

The only positive of any US election is that it can postpone, for a few months, the empire’s worst excesses. We’re scaling back our war crimes to allow the President and his handpicked opponent to huff hot air rhythmically up our collective muffler. Enjoy it while it lasts, citizens. Soon after our votes are cast and miscounted, however, campaign promises will be broken and war escalated without much fuss, since we will be preoccupied with studying, on an endless bank of televisions, a leather ball sailing through the upright or slammed through an iron hoop. That, or reality barfing.

As Americans are shoved from this speeding death train, however, many will come to regret their compliance with this fraudulent system, and realize, finally, that their very survival hinges on its collapse. Others will still blame their misfortunes on their government-sanctioned bogeyman, be him Muslim, Chinese, Mexican, ghetto black or rural white. Already there’s a buzz about possible rioting should either Obama or Romney lose. Too many Americans are too loyal to either establishment party to admit that they must say no to both.

When the Occupy protest was in full swing, the word “revolution” was bandied about quite a bit, especially in situ, but occupying city parks doesn’t make a revolution, obviously. Far from it. Occupy was a step up from the one-afternoon-march, weather permitting, but real change can only come about with much more aggressive resistance, starting with an election boycott to delegitimize this government, then a general strike to shut it down until clearly stated demands are met.

Instead of fighting our policemen and soldiers, we must enlist them. Chinese civilians attempted the same during the Tiananmen Square Protest, and were initially successful. Miscalculating, they also appealed for outside help. Erecting their own statue of liberty, many Chinese even thought Uncle Sam would somehow intervene, but then as now, the US wanted a weakened China, not a democratic one. The American ruling class is dismantling democracy even here, in the homeland. In any case, had democracy arrived in China, US corporations would now be bereft of a huge pool of dirt cheap labor. Uncle Sam paid close attention to that protest, all right, but the lessons he learnt was not how to help protesters, but how to squash them.

Occupy fizzled out because it could neither articulate its aims nor move beyond the sign-waving stage. Had Washington, Jefferson and Franklin contented themselves with squatting on a grassy patch while flashing signs at passing horsemen, you and I would be wolfing baked beans and bangers for breakfast, pasties for lunch, then howling God Save the Queen before kick off on the telly. Instead, we get to vote for our own insufferable deadweight. Hurrah!

Suffocated by unpayable debts, unemployed, underemployed and/or reduced to dwelling in a foreclosed home, tent, car, garage, tool shed or dead mall entrance, will we wise up soon enough to unite and fight back against this military banking complex that’s ruining us all?




Ass Won!
11/7/12


So Americans have voted for more of the same, not because they reelected Obama, but because they went to the polls at all. As expected, the two corporate and eternal war candidates got nearly all of the votes, with the Libertarian’s, not even 1%, and the Green Party’s, less than a quarter of 1%. Through no faults of their own, alternative candidates got almost no media exposure and little funding, but their extremely poor showing will be painted by the corporate media as reflective of the negligible value of their ideas.

Once again, the world has witnessed the passion and faith American voters have for war criminals and protectors of banksters. It is remarkable, really, the continuity of the American looting and mass murdering project. The US military has turned the Persian Gulf into its own bloody bath tub, in fulfillment of the Carter Doctrine. Democratic Carter cited the Soviet threat, but he was also aiming to keep the Arabs in line, to prevent another oil boycott that would cripple this country. It doesn’t take much of a gas disruption to sow chaos here, as shown by Hurricane Sandy. A gas junkie will kill and rob to feed his habit, then become even more apeshit should his supply run dry. He’ll shoot you before, during and after, and call it love for you, god and democracy.

According to the corporate shill that’s the US President, America is well on its way towards energy independence, though gas is up, up and up, and we’re wringing oil from rocks and brewing it from maize, neither one a cheap or energy efficient proposition, but don’t worry, just keep driving those SUVs and pack the NASCAR grandstands as the sea rises to your neck.

As we enter de yo mama of all depressions, partly caused by the job outsourcing started by the Democratic Clinton, the corporate shill du epoque is also promising more jobs, but where will these be found in this deliberately de-industrialized nation? We make nothing anymore except guns, corndogs, bombers and pornography, so well endowed guys and gals with strip mall implants can still go down, strut or pole dance for a few years, before they get on food stamps like a record number of their fellow citizens. That or joining the “services.”

The college basketball season will open with a game on an aircraft carrier, I kid you not, and one in an Air Force hangar in Germany. Hoopsters will wear camouflaged uniforms designed by Nike. The militarized corporate monster has infiltrated every aspect of American life, so don’t be surprised if you wake up tomorrow next to a traumatized and amputated hero, or corpse, or a million corpses. Millions of corpses.

Most Americans are blind to corpses, however. They don’t see any corpses, not even those draped under their own flag. Ask people you know how many American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, for example, and I’d be very surprised if one in ten could chance into a close guess. Do you know? Ask these same people the number on Kobe’s jersey, the record of the New England Patriots or the birth year of Lady Gaga.

As stressed by both Obama and Romney, education is the answer, especially higher education, though more than half of recent American college graduates can’t find work, though most are burdened with life-wrecking debts. Our banks, universities and bank-run government have colluded to jack up tuitions to unconscionable levels. As with the national debt itself, we’re eating our young.

Or maybe education isn’t the answer. From the mouth of a two-degreed librarian at a Midwestern university, “We don’t really need industries, since we’re a financial service and information economy now.” A California professor, “The world will go on financing our debts, since it’s in their interest to do so.” Another educator from same university, “Fascism?! Who’s talking about Fascism?!” And a PhD candidate at UPenn, “Obama has done all he could. He’s trying.” If that’s smart, who needs brain dead?

Unlike the last Depression, this one has been more hidden, so far, thanks to food stamps. The bread lines are inside the supermarkets now. With suffering not in plain view, many Americans can still subscribe to the recovery jingle, especially during the campaign season, when false hope percolated in many brain pans and boiling pots of possum. This morning, many wake up feeling giddy because they have managed to accomplish something together. As in every four years, they have once again said “I do” to their own rapist.

They are now represented, they think, by someone looking out for their own interests, but it can be said, quite seriously, that America does not have a representative democracy. If you vote for someone for his rhetoric and promises, which he promptly ignores after the election, then you’re not being represented, I’m sorry, though with your votes, you’ve just sanctioned him to go on abusing you and the rest of the world. Ignoring his kill list, undeclared wars and other violations of justice, you’ve chosen to swallow whole his sound bites, so you will fully deserve what’s coming to you, though it’s unfortunate that so many other victims will have to suffer also.

American democracy is like a restaurant with only two items on the menu, and no matter which one you order, ass or pachyderm, you’re served a toxic and bloody mess. Dissatisfied, you must wait four years to order again, only to receive, once more, a toxic and bloody mess. Bon appetit!




.....................................................

There's also an interview I did with Kourosh Ziabari of Iran, "The Last Naive Election," and a 11/7/12 appearance on Russia Today to debate about American presidential elections. It's rather entertaining in a grim way:



Ah, and there's this 10/8/12 debate on Press TV:





.

1 comment:

x larry said...

i would like to make a quick few comments on the rt interview.
first, excellent job by linh, my blood boils quickly and i would have been frothing at the mouth and dropping f bombs here there and everywhere at those mealy mouthed weasels. the moderator was excellent.
looked up cato institute.
first, which cato was it, the elder or younger or both that gave them their name?
the elder cato was known for his 'rugged simplicity' (wikipedia)
the younger for his 'stubbornness and tenacity' AND HIS LENGTHY CONFLICT WITH JULIUS CAESAR--see michael parenti's 'the assassination of julius caesar, a people's history of ancient rome' to see with full force that caesar was a true populist, perhaps a bit like kennedy, who the blue bloods brutally murdered for his uppity-niggerness.
younger cato also was known for his 'immunity to bribes, moral integrity, dislike for corruption'. is there a modern equivalent (that is, one who will be known for these qualities in the history textbooks of future generations)? oh, there could be many, or any. let's propose mccain, obama of course, kerry naturally, bush jr without doubt, clinton will be more difficult but easily do-able.
on to the cato institute. this was founded in the early 70s and called the Charles Koch Foundation--yes, THAT koch, of the very famous and pure koch brothers fame. had to change the name, and some genius came up with cato. they are libertarian.

on to neil, from the progressive change campaign committee, which admittedly did try to do the right thing with at least that po shit scott walker in wisconsin. but neil's another story. suddenly (this is the 2012 election), he tells us, americans understand and will make a very clear choice on THIS: That obama and co. are the party that will 'Grow' the economy from the Middle Out. neil no doubt worked for nights coming up with that.

anyway, koch boy luvs his superpacs.

grinning creeps, like the white guy in the lupe fiasco video 'dumb it down' recently posted by ali.

cheers

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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.