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Friday, December 25, 2015

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Men at low table outside tiny eatery--Istanbul








Down the street was the Goethe Institute. Passing it, my heart gladdened for a couple of seconds because it made me think of home. That is, my temporary home in Leipzig. When I lived in Certaldo, Italy, I took a train from Paris to Florence by way of Geneva. Hearing Italian spoken at the Geneva train station, I also cheered up because I knew home was getting closer, and I would be there soon.



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1 comment:

Rudy said...

Home.

Long ago home was a network of very special attachments. But several decades and changes of place had blurred those to a mere fog of sentiment. In January of 1976 home was just some specific spot, and I arrived there at 2AM on a Wednesday morning. 240 miles north of Baghdad Mosul lies on the plain south of the mountains which form the first real feature distinguishing Kurdistan from the northern outskirts of the cradle of civilization. I walked the final 3 miles from the station to just beyond the University. On the way I passed Jonah's tomb and beyond that what once had been Nineveh, then later had been the wreckage of Nineveh, and finally, mute and defeated in the stillness, was even less than that. From Nineveh I could almost see the University. Following his miraculous escape from the belly of a fish Jonah preached to the Ninevites. I resolved that, in the land where algebra was born, I would teach the impossibility of rule and compass angle trisection. I would preach to the Ninevites. As with Jonah it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t understand.

Home now is but a forlorn wish.

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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.