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Thursday, November 12, 2015


Man catching tiny fish--Singapore

Just after dawn. An art installer, he was catching these little fish with a net, not to sell but to feed his fish at home. What he was doing was illegal, he said, "That's Singapore. You can't do this, you can't do that, you can't do this, you can't do that."

When I told him I was from the US, he said Singapore was trying to become California. He had obviously never been to California.

"No California city looks this good," I said. "In San Francisco or Los Angeles, you would see homeless people all over."

"There are homeless people here! I saw a guy just over there!"

He's three quarters Malay, and a quarter Chinese.


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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.