SUPPORT THIS PROJECT--Over 10,300 photos of Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Allentown, Ann Arbor, Ardmore, Ashland (PA), Atlanta, Atlantic City, Austin, Baltimore, Battle Mountain, Bellows Falls, Bensalem Township, Berkeley, Bethlehem, Bolivar, Boston, Bordentown, Boulder, Brooklawn (NJ), Buffalo, Burlington (NJ), Cambridge, Camden, Carbondale, Carlisle, Carmel, Cedar Rapids, Centralia, Charleston (SC), Charlotte, Chelsea (MI), Cherry Hill, Chester, Cheyenne, Chicago, Claymont (DE), Cleveland, Collingswood (NJ), Columbus, Cupertino, Daly City, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Dexter (MI), Dupont, Durham, El Cerrito, El Paso, Emeryville, Ewing Township (NJ), Fort Indiantown Gap, Fremont, Gary, Glassboro, Glenside (PA), Gloucester, Grinnell, Haddonfield (NJ), Hammonton, Harpers Ferry, Harrisburg, Hoboken, Houston, Jackson, Jersey City, Joliet, Kansas City (KS), Kansas City (MO), Kennewick, Knoxville, Lancaster, Langhorne, Laurel Springs (NJ), Levittown (PA), Lindenwold (NJ), Livonia, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Marcus Hook, McCook, Media (PA), Millville, Milpitas, Minneapolis, Mount Laurel, Mountain View, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Newark, New Harmony, New Holland, Normal, Norristown, North Charleston, Oakland, Old Forge, Omaha, Orlando, Osceola, Overland Park, Palmyra (NJ), Palo Alto, Pasco, Penndel, Pennsauken, Pine Barrens, Pittsburgh, Pittston, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Redford (MI), Redwood City, Reno, Richmond, Richmond (CA), Riverside (NJ), Riverton (NJ), Roebling, Rutland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Bruno, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica, San Xavier del Bac, Sausalito, Savannah, Scranton, Somerdale (NJ), South San Francisco, Springfield (IL), St. Louis, St. Paul, Steelton, Stockton, Stratford (NJ), Sunnyvale, Taylor (PA), Trenton, Tucson, Union City (NJ), Ventnor, Vineland, Washington, West New York, Westmont (NJ), Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, Williston, Wilmington, Wolf Point, Woodbury (NJ) and Youngstown, etc. Outside USA: Akreiy Ksatr, Alforja, Arles, Barcelona, Batam, Ben Tre, Berlin, Beziers, Brighton, Budapest, Burgazada, Cambrils, Castres, Certaldo, Chanthaburi, Chau Ly, Dresden, Ea Kar, Ea Kly, Florensac, Frankfurt, Girona, Gorlitz, Grimma, Hanoi, Halle, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johor Bahru, Juarez, Kiev, Kinaliada, La Gi, Leipzig, London, Luban, Markkleeberg, Marseille, Mexico City, Montreal, Olargues, Phan Thiet, Phnom Penh, Prades, Prague, Puigcerda, Quy Hop, Reus, Reykjavik, Ripoll, Rivne, Saigon, Salou, San Juan Teotihuacán, Sete, Singapore, Tarascon-sur-Ariege, Tarragona, Tepotzotlán, Thanh Mai, Thep Nimit, Thuan Nam, Tokyo, Toluca, Toronto, Toulouse, Van Loi, Vic, Vinh Long, Vung Tau, Wegliniec, Wurzen, Zgorzelec.
If you have a PayPal account, you can save me the fees by sending money directly to my email address: . Thanks!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Travel Tips

As published in Monkey Business 6:

When booking a hotel room, make sure it’s in the right city. If you’re going to Istanbul, for example, make sure your moonlit bed, dead television and odd angled toilet will be in Istanbul, Turkey, and not, mon chéri, Istanbul, Iowa. Of course I know there is no such place, but there will undoubtedly be one before we break up this playfully pregnant intercourse. Look on Google Maps. You may even see your dead father jogging, quite happily, in Istanbul, Iowa.

Who doesn’t know that pickpockets are becoming ever more skillful? It’s as if their fingers have gotten longer and swifter. With their sixth, seventh or eighth sense, they can tell exactly what you’ve been hiding all your life, and your degree of masochism. Of course, you must atone for your own thievery, you compulsive robber of anything that means anything.

Some pickpockets specialize in stealing your character as you’re ordering a sandwich. Recently, I lost my virginal underwear while merely standing in line at a Starbucks in the capital of… I’d rather not say. I don’t want to besmirch this noble country since I may have been complicit in the laughable brouhaha. The pleasantly ticklish sensation lingers to this day. I could easily have been strangled, though, and dumped into a ditch.

To ensure that nothing is lifted from your decaying person, keep both hands inside your pant pockets at all time. Clutch your wallet, coins and keys with a death grip. Don’t grind your teeth, however, as that would arouse dangerous suspicion from the predators. Anticipating their next meal, they will smack their lips and extend their hands in heartfelt greetings. Simply nod, if you must be cordial, but it’s best to look quickly away, then quicken your steps as you escape their Byzantine entrapment. Even when dining in a restaurant, don’t take your hands out of your pockets for even a second. All that you ever cared for will disappear forever. It is certainly worth it to master the art of eating without hands. Millions have done it.

If someone tails you block after block, mile after mile, city after city, don’t ever turn around to see who it is, for it will certainly make you weep then destroy you. I mean, you will kill yourself immediately for not having turned around much, much sooner.

[Motoyuki Shibata, Monkey Business' editor, asked for a prose poem in late December, so I wrote the above in two days while in Leipzig. Two months later, I'd lose my camera, lenses and passport in Berlin. Reading the piece in New York last week, I joked that there is perhaps a Monkey Business curse!]


No comments:


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 a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), 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). 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.