A Chris D’Errico Perspective

Chris D'Errico: Poet, Writer, Musician
Chris D’Errico: Poet, Writer, Musician

One thing I always enjoy about my visits to Las Vegas are my visits with poet and writer Chris D’Errico, as well as writer and international man of mystery, the Mag-Man, Peter Magliocco. To be honest, though, Peter, though ever cordial, proves to elude this writer more often than not, but I am remiss not to remark that we real artists have personal lives and secular jobs to attend. Alas, however, my visits with Chris D’Errico are always fun and interesting, if you find literary and political banter entertaining. Imagine a well read, Democratic-sympathizing, philosophical, ultra-realist Nor’Eastern yucking it up with an ultra-idealist, Libertarian-sympathizing, liberal Texan in a dark bar in Las Vegas. The shared appreciation of being able to speak ones opinion with no fear of recompense is always an assuring thing. Exploring various views and perspectives while taking the ride, so to speak, is always encouraged. Still, the man has been much up to things in the meantime.

Readers may recall, Chris D’Errico is author of two, count ’em, two volumes of poetry and poetic lunacy published by this humble little press. The first volume, Vegas Implosions was the landmark publication of Virgogray Press and the key to unlocking the doors to authors far and near. Vegas Implosions brought humurous, witty, and insightful verse revolving around what’s captured in the city of sin.  Minsistry of Kybosh, presented four years later and after a second printing of Vegas Implosions which included the additional text, The Exterminator Chronicles, was a slightly reminiscent, though a much more experimental manuscript. Here we find poetic prose in seeming stream of consciousness across a vast array of topics. The manuscript also includes “Other Poems” which is a selection of traditional free verse with its own dynamic and style.

Vegas Implosions (2011) Second Edition
Vegas Implosions (2011) Second Edition
Ministry of Kybosh (2012)
Ministry of Kybosh (2012)

Still, the apparent randomness does conjure up vivid scenes of thought. Take for example this segment from part one of Ministry of Kybosh: 

Let’s compare doctrines. Punched a clock and proselytized in the break-room, drinking decaf. Talked bullet points. Coarse flurries of inane jabber. Your heart bleeds green, mine blue. Argued inside a cafeteria of white noise, You spiked your tuna with salsa, mine with mac-n-cheese. “Implausibility of permanence, infidelity of peace.” Heads hurt. Agreed. What’s wrong with these sheeple. Everybody on the left get out. Everybody on the right go die. Soul beats money. You little yellow monkey, you silly long-snouted trickster. Hardwired to lie and believe lies. “Big reality in rooms for little ideas.” We read aloud handwritten passages by a dead “poet” whose obscurity tickled our fascination with the underdog: Firm as Ignorant Blood, Nature wants to run Amok. Emblazoned by the Ethereal, Oblivion smiles to fill the Vast Hollow. Savage and Exulted, as always: Power wins. Back to work and answerable to each other with which we must collaborate. The Commission to Investigate Hiring an Outside Agency (CIHOA) decided that sustainability is the new progress, the mundane is the new excellent, exclusivity is a marketplace, entrepreneurship is the new existentialism, and resistance is new-reactionary–so just stop it already.

Just thoughts and writing is what Chris would say. Still, I think there is the underpinnings of some deeper thought intriguing enough for those readers that want to grasp a deeper meaning.  At least, that’s a reason why I like to make it available. You can keep up with Chris D’Errico and what all is going on in his pocket of the universe via his website http://www.clderrico.com. The site includes links to latest published work, including appearances in Counter Punch and Otoliths, as well as his personal Vegas Implosions Blog where  you will find random type thought entries at the blog on topics like marijuana laws in Nevada, appreciations of Charles Bukowski, information and opinion regarding Monsanto and other interesting tidbits. There is more to come from this eccentric Las Vegas writer, I’m sure, so stay tuned and be sure to pick up a copy of his books, Vegas Implosions and Ministry of Kybosh, both available from Virgogray Press. C’mon, all the cool kids are getting them!

Peter Magliocco on Chris D’Errico’s Vegas Implosions

    “One of Sin City’s best poets, Chris D’Errico displays superbluesy intellectual verve
    & formal dexterity in poems exploring the aboveground & underground facts of
    life/death in Vegas, where implosive humanity vies with the insect pestilence he
    exterminates … Question is, which side is winning?”

 

Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he’s edited the lit-zine ART:MAG for over 20 years. He has recent poetry in online & print publications like SCYTHE, GOLD DUST, DEAD SNAKES, ASCENT A S PI R ATIONS, THE BEAT, THUNDER SANDWICH, GNOME, SCARS, and elsewhere. He’s been Pushcart Prize nominated for poetry three times, and his most recent chapbooks are Imparadised (Nerve Calliope Media), Nude Poetry Garage Sale (Virgogray Press), The Heaven of Words (Propaganda Press), and Discarded Poems (Scars Publications)…. His latest novel is The Burgher of Virtual Eden from Publish America. A recent story of his was collected in the sci-fi anthology, Dead Neon: Tales of Near-future Las Vegas from the University of Nevada Press. He’s also been Pushcart nominated for fiction …

Chris D’Errico’s “Vegas Implosions,” a poet’s look at Sin City.

Vegas Implosions by Chris D'Errico (Virgogray Press, 2008)
Vegas Implosions by Chris D'Errico (Virgogray Press, 2008)

Chris D’Errico’s new collection of poetry Vegas Implosions is an examination of the sordid city of sin from this Massachusetts born poet. Now transplanted in Las Vegas and with many a mode and vehicle to cast his eye on, Vegas Implosions is truly a dissection of modern living in a space that is exceptionally colorful. Humorous ideas and images abound like one of my favorite lines from “man-boobs bouncing along Death Valley dune,” from the poem “Headbanging.” It’s just this unexpected vision that balances the books views on life in Las Vegas, which comes at readers with more realistic views swathed in bittersweet sarcasm and post-beat meditations.  Reflections on the quality of life. Whereas early works like Debris of the Hearts (Off Center Press, 2007) focused primarily on personal subjects, D’Errico turns his eye outwards on the denizens of Las Vegas. In all this, there is a humanness that the poet maintains in keeping its humor even when ironically pointed at himself. These types of methodologies in writing, whether intended or not, are usually best recipes for eye-openers giving way to a bigger picture, one the reader can mirror against the rest of the world. Chris D’Errico’s warm reception to the human condition in Las Vegas intermingled with personal philosophies and  sharp wit is both welcoming and candidly unpredictable.