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Friday, July 15, 2016

Jottings on the fly

Thanks to a timely donation, I could hit Friendly today, first time in a couple of weeks.

The point of drinking is not to drink but to listen, especially if you're a writer.

The economy is torpedoed. For more than an hour, I was the only customer in Friendly.

Steve the mailman came in. Forty-nine-years-old, Steve has been delivering mail for 23 years. If you put in 30 years and are at least 55, you can collect a pension. To get a bigger pension, Steve wants to work until he's 62. His wife is a dentist.

Felix hobbled in. "I feel old!"

"Tell us something we don't know," Don, the bar owner, said.

"You look old!" I added.

Felix talked about the last time he had sex, a dozen years ago. "It felt like sand paper." She was sixty.

Straggling in, four strangers ordered High Life and Jameson. They're spackling a wall a block away. With the heat outside, they had already gone through a case of water. Six bottles per dude.

For lunch, they had been eating at Lorenzo. Don and I suggested they should also try the roast pork at George's, next door.

Don told the spackling crew they should start earlier, like 6 O'clock, when it's cooler. He also suggested yoga.

“You should join a yoga class. It’s all pussy.”

“Girls farting?” a man in his 40's jumped in.

“You’ll be farting, too. You should always do yoga on an empty stomach.”


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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.