Author Philip Elliott – Letter to Chinaman

Dear Chinaman,

I am sorry for what I did to you. I’m not racist in any way, I want you to know that—I couldn’t give two shits if you were every color of the rainbow. I’d even marry a Chinese if she was pretty and didn’t keep yammering all the time, which is pretty likely maybe cause most of y’all seem pretty quiet to me. But my friend, he is a racist, and that night, well, we’d been drinkin and he started up with the abuse and I should have told him he was wrong and shut his mouth for him but I didn’t, I joined in instead. And I do wish you had just shut your mouth and taken it like you was supposed to, but instead you had to show us just how courageous a man you were and got your jaw broke for your bravery. I don’t know why I kicked you when you were layin on the ground bleeding and clutching at your face like that. That was cowardly of me. I think it was maybe because I wanted to prove myself, too, you know, cause if you was standing up to us, and if my friend had punched you in the mouth, well, I had to do something, too. But I been replaying that over and over in my head ever since and I feel just terrible about it.

One thing I never really understood about my friend, though. He hates your kind cause he says you been taking our jobs from us and shit, but he quit every job he ever had. And he had a lot of em. Seems like he can get a job just about whenever he wants in that town, but he keeps leaving em. Not that I blame him, I kept getting fired myself, but that’s different than walking away voluntarily every time. And also, he’s probably the best customer the Asian food mall ever had. Just doesn’t really add up to me, I don’t know. That boy goin get himself killed one day, though, that’s for sure. Too much hate in his heart.




This brilliant debut consists of a prose collection of fictional letters from a deceased 26-year-old Southern American named Jeremiah John Watts (JJ). The people JJ mentions in these letters have a parallel to the alienated and confused dreamers, addicts and lost souls found in the work of the likes of Denis Johnson and William Burroughs, but JJ’s larger-than-life sentimentality as his past leaks out of his heart and onto the page puts this collection in some new sphere of perception equally brilliant but entirely its own. Gradually, the letters tell a fractured tale of a life of mistakes, heartbreak, sickness, and regret, but also love, faith, hope and perseverance.

– Heath Brougher Author, A Curmudgeon is Born, and Your Noisy Eyes

To find out more about Dreaming In Starlight read the Introduction.

16174763_1332005433515658_5603811410579608927_n About the Author

Philip Elliott was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1993 and quickly started scribbling nonsense. He’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Into the Void Magazine, and his own writing can be found in various journals in 9 countries, such as Otoliths, Scarlet Leaf Review, Foliate Oak, Revista Literariedad and Flash Fiction Magazine. He has a degree in Ancient Classics, likes to blur the boundaries between fiction’s many genres, and loves above all writing that is honest and heartfelt. Philip lives in Dublin, where he gets along better with his dogs than any humans, is finishing up work on a novella and much too many other projects, and is any combination of these things: fiction writer, poet, feminist, vegan, atheist, buddhist, minimalist, mindful meditator, wandering wonderer, punk rock fanatic & very loose cannon. Stalk him at

Visit Philip’s Author Page At

Free to Read on Kindle Unlimited At

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