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Friday, September 11, 2015

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Terrence at The Dive on 9-10-15--Bella Vista








Terrence at The Dive. During Happy Hours, you can get a pint of microbrew for $2, but the three choices available on any day are usually crap. Still, it's only $2.

Before his current job teaching arts to kids, Terrence worked in kitchens at swank restaurants, including the Four Seasons, Striped Bass and Fogelsville's Glasbern Inn, a place that raises its own cows, pigs, chickens and lambs. Terrence became a head chef but hated it because it was more about managing than cooking.

Terrence said he had to eat an ortolan whole, feathers and all, for some weird kitchen rite of passage. We looked in wikipedia.

"Here it says it's supposed to be cooked, Terrence. Maybe they tricked you into eating a raw bird. You're probably the only guy who's ever done that!"

Terrence is from Manayunk. Alongside Bridesburg, it's the last nearly all-white working class neighborhood in Philadelphia proper.

"There are people in Manayunk who have never been to Center City."

"Oh come on, man, you're full of shit! You can see Center City from Manayunk."

"Yes, but some of them never go in. I'm not kidding."

Terrence has two theories about why natives of Manayunk are a little off. "First, they live near the river, and where does the word lunatic come from? The moon, right? People who live near rivers are more affected by the moon."

"Ummm, I'm not sure about that."

"Secondly, Manayunk is very hilly, so you're always leaning backward or forward as you're walking. This causes your brain to slip back and forth. People in Manayunk have what I'd like to call Sloped Brain, or Slopititis."

One of these days, Terrence and I will check out Pop Pops and/or DeLeo's in Manayunk. Though of Philadelphia, it really is a town apart.



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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.