My review of Robert Vaughan’s books: “Microtones,” “Diptychs+Triptychs+Lipsticks+Dipshits” and “Addicts & Basements” is live on MadHat’s Drive-By Book Reviews at:
Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits
Stories/ Robert Vaughan 2013
Published by Deadly Chaps ~ Joseph A. W. Quintella, Publisher
Robert Vaughan is a busy man with a lot on his mind, and an incredibly prolific writer. I don’t know how or when he even finds time to sleep. Author of hundreds of published stories and poems, Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits is his second release in 2013, with more on the way. Don’t take your eye off the ball or you’re likely to miss the next pitch altogether. This chap book contains many of his best known pieces and is a little like a greatest hits album, in all the best possible ways. Notable pieces include “10,000 Dollar Pyramid” which was a finalist in the Micro Fiction awards 2012, “Ten Notes To The Guy Studying Jujitsu,”finalist for the Gertrude Stein Award 2013 and “Gauze, a Medical Dressing, a Scrim” 2nd Place in the Flash Fiction Chronicles String-Of-10 Contest 2013. It also contains some of my personal favorites which include “Seven Shades of James”, “Going to Reseda On The 405” and “Mother/Father/Clown.”
Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits is a marvelously crafted collection with moving parts that work beautifully together. At times deep and dark, then light, playful and mischievous; the pieces are written in beautiful prose that moves the reader through surprising and unexpected journeys. Robert Vaughan’s work is characterized by his playful use of alliteration and eye winking references to icons, titles and phrases in the lexicon of popular culture. His capricious imagery and surprising, cleverly placed internal rhymes create pieces that are at once rambunctious, mischievous and somehow, gently subversive.
Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits is crafted from lush poetic prose. On one hand some pieces are abstract, cryptic and disturbing; while on the other hand, others are humorous and totally straight forward, without any artifice, tricks or distractions that might dull the edge or detract from their power. Vaughan’s stories are often poignant, tender and compassionate without being too sweetly sentimental. In almost every case, any one of the segments of a diptych or triptych could easily serve as the foundation for its own expanded story.
Hats off to publisher Joseph A. W. Quintella for a beautifully designed and produced book. It’s a wonderful chap book and a piece of visual art in and of itself. Diptychs +Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits is an enduring body of work. Woven from gorgeous, rich, lyrical language and imagery, it’s right up there with the very best. Available from the publisher, http://www.deadlychaps.com and from Amazon. It’s also listed on Goodreads. If you are not yet familiar with the writing of Robert Vaughan, then this is the perfect place to start.