No time to write anything substantial today, so instead, here's a short, substantial poem by Linh Dinh, whom a colleague and I have been talking up day after day. Dinh has published two highly original books of stories, Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press, 2004) and Fake House (Seven Stories Press, 2000), a poetry collection, All Around What Empties Out (Subpress, 2003), and three chapbooks of poems, Drunkard Boxing (Singing Horse Press, 1998), A Glass of Water (Skanky Possum Press 2001), and my favorite, Renee Gladman's handsewn Leroy Books 2001 volume, A Small Triumph over Lassitude, which features a cover illustration by Layla Ali, and some of the most playful poems this side of Thomas Sayers Ellis.
A PERIPATETIC PURVEYOR OF NOTHING
by Linh Dinh
On The Avenue of Idleness, there is a man who pushes a pushcart around with nothing on it. He rings a bell to announce his arrival. Children and other undesirables like to throw rocks at him.
‘I was never made out for this. I don’t want to sell nothing. I don’t even want to buy nothing.’
‘So much for nothing today?’
‘You better know it.’
‘A little cheaper by the dozen perhaps?’
‘Not at this weight, ma’am.’
‘But my children are grossly underweight!’
‘Like the billboards say, We can’t modernize overnight.’
‘Please wrap it up then.’
Copyright © Linh Dinh, 2001, 2005.