Chad Hall: Erectile Dysfunction
Years before Eric Victorino started the Limousines, he and friend Chad Hall talked about writing a poetry book together. This project never materialized, though Victorino would eventually release two books of poetry, Coma Therapy and Trading Sunshine for Shadows, through his and wife Sarah Collins' imprint, Orchard City Books and Noise. Recently, when Hall was finally ready to release his own poetry book, Erectile Dysfunction, naturally Victorino and Collins wanted to release it on Orchard City as well.
"What I strive for in my work above all else is honesty, even if it paints me in a bad light," Victorino explains. "Chad's writing comes from a similar place. He's not scared to face his failings and to share them." Hall doesn't just share his failings, he shines a bright light on them and exposes their every detail—a process that can be uncomfortable. Hall talks about heartbreak, loneliness, getting drunk, pushing people away and, of course, erectile dysfunction. "It's the ultimate male vulnerability. It's a common thing, yet we're all so embarrassed by it," Hall says.
The concept is a perfect platform for Hall as he devotes much of the book dealing with his conflicting ideas and feelings about his own manhood, as well as the different expectations of society. "What is the modern man now? What are we? Are we macho misogynistic men, or are we completely effeminate pussies? We're neither," Hall says.
The book opens with a piece named after the poet Hall has clearly been influenced by the most, Charles Bukowski—not just in his simple, nonrhyming, narrative style but also in his blunt, dark topics. Hall put this poem first in part to be transparent about his influences but also to move past him and to acknowledge that while Bukowski was a brilliant writer, he wasn't necessarily a great person. The darkness in Hall's poems is an attempt to work through these feelings, not revel in them.
The book closes with a poem, also called "Erectile Dysfunction," perhaps the loneliest, most somber piece in the book. In the midst of the sadness, Hall makes it clear that he desires to move past his fear of intimacy, which is a constant struggle. The final line, "Leave me alone, but don't leave me alone," is, according to Hall, the most important one in the book. "Ending with anything else was lightening the purpose of what I was doing," Hall says.
Erectile Dysfunction is the first volume released on Orchard City Books and Noise not written by Victorino. There will be more books and albums on Orchard City Books and Noises this year by other artists.
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