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Monday, December 19, 2011

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Katie--Boston








Katie spent $120 to make these cards, but had not sold a single one during her first hour of business, sitting in front of the library. She was staying with Occupy Boston until the police evicted their encampment from Dewey Square. A native of Boston, she has been drifting around for the last four years, traveling as far north as Alaska, and as far south as New Mexico. She lived outside in -20 degree in Montana. Her estranged father works for Raytheon, near Philadelphia.

She offered me some cauliflower from a plastic bag. When I asked how old she was, she said, "Didn't people tell you you should never ask a lady her age?"

She has investigated the Transcendentalists and found them half-assed. She said, "From the age of twelve, I've always wanted to be an animal," and that's why she goes barefoot and lives outside as much as possible.

"If you want to be an animal, then Thoreau ain't shit," I said.

"Yes, Thoreau ain't shit."


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3 comments:

Cine said...

Wow. You have a talent for finding these gems Linh.

I don't know whether to envy her or pity her.

Cine said...

She is like a female American Sadu.

Boston commoner said...

If you want to be an animal?? You already are! Like other mammals and yet unique, like all species. Go back and read (really READ!) Thoreau. His genius grows with the years - and with YOU!

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy and England. 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 Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, among other places. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (2006). 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, Reykjavik, Toronto and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.