In x, Dan Chelotti conjures voices that wander, pause, analyze, articulate, attempt to enlighten, fail to enlighten, and then answer that failure with laughter. The wildly inventive imagery in these cinematic pieces lodges them somewhere between the surreal and the pure symbol, colorful and smooth like the lyrics of John Ashbery or Linda Pastan. In Chelotti’s poems, diamonds talk and sheriffs balance frogs on the tips of pens.
The rain says, Listen to Debussy,
go ahead, Debussy will fix you.
—From “Migraine Cure”
The secret to including everything
is to intricately divide your mind
and then, all of a sudden,
—From “Still Life on a Scrolling Background”
Read an excerpt of x right here.
Praise for x:
“What is x? It is a revelation to read. This poet is here to guide us through the places we will go. I will follow him. So should you.”
“Dan Chelotti’s x is a first book, but one that has the bracing clarity of old souls like Jack Gilbert, James Tate, Mary Ruefle and Yannis Ritsos, along with the sensitivities and bravery of a young poet. The thoughts in the poems leap gracefully, and associate with a new but always perceivable, never alienating logic. These poems take on our troubles, as well as our task: to make sense of without reducing the world.”
“O Madonna mia! This poetry it makes me to laugh! Dan Chelotti, I heart you!”
“Dan Chelotti’s poems spin and jump through fire landing on their feet, but wait, whose feet are they, really? They are magnificent contraptions with a heart of steel. They move me because they are real. I never know how they will turn out, and this is what keeps me reading. He’s a poet with grace and beauty in his duffle bag, on his way to the front.”
“Gripping and surprising. . . . Chelotti has gotten a remarkable start.”
“Funny and sometimes mysterious…Pavarotti and cheap plastic pumpkins are all part of Chelotti’s poetic stew.”
“X is delightful in its weirdness, surprisingly heartbreaking in its compassion.”
“Chelotti’s comedy is a greedy type of comedy, attempting to not only capture the humor, but the sadness, the loneliness, the absurdity, and the romance of life. Hitting all those points in a single poem would be difficult for anyone, but Chelotti accomplished the task repeatedly throughout X.”
- Hayden’s Ferry Review
“X feels like a tremendous gift […] it’s a hell of a great book.”