Here is a blast from the past some may not remember. On January 31, 2009 I interviewed Chris D’Errico, author of Vegas Implosions. Chris reads from his chap betwixt quirky, author to author conversation. The interview took place on The Virgogray Anonymous Midnight Poetry Radio Show, aired every night at midnight for a few months until I stopped broadcasting. There is currently a plan to bring back a weekly broadcast. Stay tuned for details and enjoy this interview until then!
Kevin Brown of Arkansas has given to readers the world over a phenomenal new collection of prose in Ink on Wood and an astonishing first for Virgogray Press. I found his work quite riveting. In short the work included in Ink on Wood is searing prose at its best. “02:10:31” and “The End, the opener and closer for the book, are dramatic tales of regret and loss told in unconventional and interesting sequence; the former being framed as the story unfolds through video and the latter like flashes of memory. Tragic as they are, one cannot help to turn the pages as the story unfolds and the puzzle pieces itself together. Between these two tales is work that is humorous, as in “Ecdysis,” which frankly I found shocking when I first read. Considering ecdysis means “to shed off skin,” I found this piece to be a masterful literary echo, an elegant step forward for humanity that doesn’t cease to punch you in the jaw. “Learning How to Die,” a nostalgic account between father and son, that is ultimately a tale of acceptance of death, resonated with me. The issue of mortality is lightly punched around by a drunken father teaching his son to box. Other pieces include, “The World (and Everything in it),” a light-hearted look at love loss that reads thickly with poetic hints and crassness. Of course, that’s just skimming the surface, you’ll have to read the story to get the full scoop. Prose fans, fans of flash fiction and short stories, Ink on Wood by Kevin Brown is definitely a collection to pick up—satisfying to the last word.
27 Pages. $7.
The newest release from Virgogray is here! “Nude Poetry Garage Sale” by Peter Magliocco is 30 pages of poetic diversity that kinda hinges on its various abstractions of thought and images as it trips into a variety of ideas, some humorously narrative, others absurdly profane. I walked away from this version of “Nude Poetry Garage Sale” thinking Peter Magliocco is nothing short of a mastermind. Even at its opening we see a writer wanting to buck the current with poems seemingly addressing the state of art and editorialship. But I loved the abstraction of images and how sensibly they address the apparent issue as in the poem, “Illusion of Art:”
Far from the blank page
on your computer screen
where faint radioactive emanations
persistently grope for
all the imprisoned writers of the world
mentally chained to machines
& inherited obsolete concepts
that should remain unwritten,
the way mirage water puddles
on distant roads are
in the sunlight,
before you race towards them
and they disappear.
This is also present in “The Hunger Artist” where Magliocco writes about “true art” and censoring “literature befouled by commerce & whatnot” drives the point home with a seeming sarcastic, self-defamatory quip: “I’ll cut this poem-pretension up / & add it to the beef stew / which lacks a saving grace / of sorts.” I found “Narrations from the invidious conflux” humourous with its opening schema of the 1959 Psycho film as it weaves itself into topical briefs on Obama, Valerie Solanis and impending earthquake doom–I rather liked that poem. “Something Behind Everything” tapped into the spiritual and profound, another aspect I find appealing when reading poetry. These lines are wonderful,
Please send good tidings
to the prison where now I sleep
dreaming of us reading together
the skywriting of planes
above the ecliptic tilt
clouds shape ivory hills
for the hiding gods.
Wow. And all this in the first five pages! Could it get better? It could. There were other poems I found to be insightful, if not after a double-take and a closer read through, such as: “Bury Her Heart on Highway 61,” “A Casualty of Permissive Sex in Unorthodox Times (which, by the way, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize),” “From the Nude Christ,” and “The Vision Inescapable.” Another poem I found humorous was, “Host,” but only because I jaywalk and never really looked at it as inviting hard-metal death, but that’s why I like reading poetry. Over all, “Nude Poetry Garage Sale” is a hefty helping of verse, a bit thicker than some, with a little bit of imaginative deciphering required. It is the thoughtfulness that is so inviting, though, and is worthy of those desiring an engaging read. Cover art by Justin Jackley. 30 Pages. $7.
Limbo Now in Second Print
The 2006 Virgogray release of “Limbo” has been re-issued in an expanded and revised 2nd print and is now available for your readership. “Limbo” now contains 20 pages of poetry, including many poems not available in other publications. “Like Father,” “Upon Dying,” “Conversations” are among the gems contained in this collection. Get it while you can!
Also, be sure to check out an interview with Michael by Jim Harrington at his website, “Six Questions For,” an interview site dedicated to getting into the heads of editors and publishers! Jim has picked the brains of many creatives, including: Lynn Alexander of Full of Crow, Alison Ross of The Clockwise Cat, and Allie Dresser of Gloom Cupboard just to name a few.
Thanks again to everyone hanging in there with us as we go through our birthing process. We look forward to a fruitful end of the year with new releases from Kevin Brown, Felino Soriano, Sara Crawford, Michael McAloran and Doctori Sadisco on the horizon… chapbook submissions will re-open before you know it, as well as the Carcinogenic Anthology printed edition–so stay tuned and get involved!