Reviews 2020-



Retread Rubbereden 2020

Quatroche is primarily an oral poet, influenced by and working in the tradition of Whitman, Sandburg, Ginsberg, Frelinghetti, Ken Nordine, Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski and similar experimenters in the American oral tradition. His work expresses a strong element of social criticism–sometimes angry, sometimes ironic or absurd, with the element of the highly personal and lyrical. One of his greatest strengths is the effective use of telling details and powerful images and metaphors to bring us face to face with our foibles, our failures and our loves-  David Lunde Professor Emeritus SUNY Fredonia. Internationally published and recognized poet/translator. 1992 Rhysling Award recipient Five time Nebula Award nominee.

Career educator and poet Vincent Quatroche (pictured here with his Dybbuk) admits the critics are in unanimous agreement that he doesn’t really exist and his creative efforts in various media over the last fifty years are peculiar shadows of marginal talent unique in its collective stubborn obscurity to endure perpetual literary marketplace indifference. Adirondack folk musician and Professor Emeritus SUNY Fredonia  Dan Berggren who has recorded and produced Quatroche’s sound pictures since 1988 was quoted as remarking “Vince can go from blow torch to fire hose on a dime. Whether with satire or sincerity, his poems illuminate shadows then plunge you into darkness, leaving it to your imagination to find the exit.”


“In Q Bop City, Vincent Quatroche fills a literary kaleidoscope with brightly colored bits of jazz, art, history, sex, education, poetry, personal successes, and personal failures. Each page turned offers a twist of the kaleidoscope revealing a new arrangement of perfectly formed words telling a clean crisp story that shines bright on its own but is also a vital component of his life journey as poet/artist. His writing voice mirrors his actual voice as a delightful mix of hipster, educator, barfly, beat poet, and jazz aficionado; always with a backbeat and smooth rhythmic flow. A joyous read offering a slice of a real life lived on each page.” Phillip Giambri, Author “Confessions of a Repeat Offender”




Observation from a former student 1/2014

Vincent, I love how you refer to your expanding presence as a negative-fact of fame. The truth is that authors and poets are loved in life, but mostly by those somewhat close to them, and those who are closer tend to loathe them. When death finally removes those attachments, then the real fame starts. Why is this? Perhaps because society, as weak as it is, will not be afraid of the backlash of its attentions. Authors, Poets and life-learners all have one thing in common, they are AWARE. People are afraid of that, and so they hide, fame along with it. The good thing is that fame is as constructed at the use of the word “cool”, and as such, a good poet keeps a wary eye out for it. It hits like a train. Sure the money is sometimes good, but you are ruined. Would a poet want to be hit by the fame-train and die because of it or would they rather like to ride it a bit? Either way, this particular train always has something to do with the killing of a poet.

Wayne A. Ceallaigh (Barone)


Reaction to the Video Po- Matinee Idle 7/2013

This piece is beautifully filmed and performed but again, the music bothers me.  To me, your writing has a kinda’ “B-Bop” or bluesy rhythm with a dissonant sound.  The soft reflective piano forces you to interpret it like a mellowed out lounge singer.  I feel the piano undermines the tone of the writing and makes it feel too “nice.”  The message gets softened. Your observations on life are at once cynical, acute, and romantic, and always with a bit of sadness or an edge.  Your work seems to reflect a disappointment in the reality of the world you observe, and it’s made you “world weary” and nostalgic for a different time; or perhaps a time that never really existed except in our imaginations.  I’ve been there in that same place.  A solo bass or a solo sax behind you, with a player who knows your head, might change the whole timbre of the sound and soul of your work.

I sure hope you don’t get offended by the criticism and find it impertinent, but I feel like you’re shining a pair of sneakers with the music.  Your work is what it is, and should be out there and “in your face” when read.  The other possibility is that I’m projecting my own incorrect interpretations onto your pieces and am giving misguided advice on how they should be presented.

If I picture you at the far end of a dark bar on a hot afternoon scribbling down a poem on a bar napkin, doing shots and beers, then the music is way off.  On the other hand, if you’re sitting in your office, in an air conditioned cubicle, wearing a sport jacket and typing out the piece, then theic would be okay.  Whether true or not, I prefer the first image because it fits the tone of your work as I read it.

Phillip Giambri   – The Ancient Mariner Lower East Side

Of 21 Shaggy Dogs

By Dr. George Sebouhian, Professor Emeritus SUNY

Short Dog Stories CoverOne cannot pass twice through the same stream,”


‘So Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, dubbed by some historians as “obscure.” was quoted in observing a degree of relationship to Logos’ But Heraclitus “the obscure” met his match with his disciple who did not stop with that, went further and added’ “One cannot perhaps can even do it once.”

And that’s Vincent Quatroche in the ink stream.

“I like reading him”, I told her looking across from my pillow as she was starting another book on her electronic machine. (Much like the couple in the beginning of A Good Story)

Earlier that afternoon, two hours with him tossing books and titles and even CDs at me while I was halfway absented in the midst of a memory four decades ago, in a spacious faculty reading room arguing about the latest war, and he, a stranger to me then, shouted from yards away, full decibel force but also relaxed, almost as if he were Buster Keaton, smiling at me, or himself, or maybe just everything.

I like reading you, Vince. It’s like a bullet train roller coaster in the dark, no context, can’t tell what’s ahead. Even with narrators (who are often like the reader). Some of them take control. I become a character, three dimensional, whipped through words, sharp, angled. Motion with just a whisper-hint of e-motion.

For instance, The Heckler (for my son) begins with “It was the bottom of the 12th inning of the second game of a twi-night double header [between] two mediocre ball clubs and pivots through to the ending with a Babe Ruth caricature at bat who hears a disembodied voice yell, Hey, Meat, think Hegel up there……that tragedy and or comedy is at once intellectual, ethical, and metaphysical, an inescapable feature of our particular, finite, changing self-divided lives.” You have to scrape your way through that, and maybe you’ll be ready for what follows.

The endings have no ends, as in O’Tool’s Daughter and sometimes no plot. A character appears who has kept his friends waiting in a bar and tries to make up for it with story about a potentially sexual encounter which, according to the tale teller, gave him grave reason to defer, so he rushes to where the friends are, but immediately after this explanation he gets up from his chair to go to the men’s room, leaving the two friends puzzled beyond truth, asking/telling  each other, I dunno. What do you think? To tell the truth, I don’t really know what to think. Yeah I know, but really can I tell you what’s bugging me more ?  And then comes the last line: What would you have done?

Quatroche could be paralleling the conceit of the delayed revelation of disclosure as his friends did, and his sort of idling (waiting) until she mouths a name that sends him running from the unwillingness to potentially incur the consequences of her past becoming their present which I see as one of those levels that teases the friends who have to wait an endless period of time for the identity of the  father of a potential chance liaison with a fem-fatal  Even now I’m seeing everything in the story as metaphor unexplained, without meaning on the real level, and slippery sloping on still other metaphoric levels, with the story teller as a creation of the friends (really one person going through a crisis of meaning/reality hallucinating the story to make sense of being) is the narrator now the disciple or teacher, really, going past the master.

One last example:  How to Manage (For my Father), No doubt a tribute to Quatroche’s Artist father who supported his family as a movie manager for most of his life. The story which begins with someone asking Ever wonder how to manage? And the presumed manager commences to provide a lengthy list of do and don’t checklist of cliches, summarizing it with experiential authority, This then is how I manage.Which is followed with a question from the assumed group: By the way, how do you manage?

The author divides his stories into frames, from Fiction to Work to Memory. The first is wide open to speculation of meaning, the second is down to concrete specifics, the third to judgment. But I, as a lonely reader my wife has fallen asleep guided by my own emotions must tell the reader that every word is suspended by an invisible safari yet alone (shades of Emily Dickinson); he is the teller of tales, of his own brand of what used to be called Shaggy Dog Stories: ends that refuse to follow beginnings on a simple level, but also deeply ironic and privately iconic.

Why do I think so? Look to the opening section entitled Essay, from the Latin meaning try followed immediately by the section Don’t Try  followed by a whole collection of Try ending with two characters in The Place Holders who don’t try because they agree to leave the story? the book? the reader ? Or perhaps just each other, preferring to preserve the unspoken understanding between them.

Now take another look at the quote, top of this page

And enjoy the rest of the book.


Greenport painter featured in posthumous show

By Beth Young | July 12, 2011 in Featured Stories, Lifestyle, News, The Arts

VINCENT QUATROCHE PAINTING | The late Greenport artist will be featured in his first posthumous show through August at Rothman’s Gallery.

When Greenport painter Vincent Quatroche died this year, on Easter Sunday, at age 89, his lifelong commitment to living the life of an artist still hung in the air around his home, reminding his three children and his wife that, even with him gone, they could continue to honor his memory by making art.

Two months ago, Mr. Quatroche’s son, Vince, had a chance encounter with Southold shopkeeper Ron Rothman, owner of Rothman’s Gallery and department store in Southold. The younger Mr. Quatroche, who lives in Dunkirk, N.Y., and teaches writing at Fredonia State College, was on his way to visit his mother, Edna, in Greenport. He had known Mr. Rothman since both were young men.

As I was walking through town, and I walked by Rothman’s and Ron was in front of the store, said Mr. Quatroche. He offered his condolences and said he’d like to be able to feature my father’s work at a new space next to his family store. I was flattered and floored. I couldn’t wait to tell my mom.

This past Saturday, Mr. Quatroche’s first posthumous show opened at Mr. Rothman’s gallery. It’s a vibrant collection of the artist’s signature works, which combine a sophisticated sense of color with cubist and abstract expressionist influences. And for two short hours, it was also a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears, as Vince Quatroche gave a spoken word reading to music and the band TAOST regaled the audience with song. The show will remain on display through late August.

Vince Quatroche said his father had been an artist from a very young age. The painter was the son of a jazz drummer who died just after Christmas 1938 in a car accident with his band, The Suffolk Serenadors. Jazz is a theme that runs through both the painter’s work and that of his son, who incorporated recordings of his father’s radio playing in the basement of his home into his reading Saturday night.

My father was my first collaborator, my fist teacher, he said. He gave me my appreciation for great jazz.

The paintings featured in the show include series of interpretations of Picasso figure studies, which show that, even when paying homage to another painter, Vincent Quatroche was keenly aware of his own style. Also on display are portraits of jazz musicians, including Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis, and a series of works that Vince Quatroche used in his own collections of poetry and short stories.

Seen together, the paintings make clear that Vincent Quatroche is a master at exploring the landscape of an artist’s life among fellow artists. Vince Quatroche also explored that relationship masterfully Saturday night in his piece Oranges, a written response to poet Frank O’Hara’s Why I am Not a Painter. Both poems detail the spoken and unspoken worlds between words and brush strokes, where a poem could be all about oranges though the word orange is never mentioned, while a painting could reveal its true meaning through a title; where the writer could watch poets read aloud all night in a club, while the real art was not on stage but in the human interactions at the bar.

All of my appreciation of the arts came from his influence, Vince Quatroche said of his father. I’ve been around his paintings like they were family.

Vincent Quatroche was born in Sag Harbor in 1921, and attened the University of Washington School of Art and Oberlin College before serving in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He was as adept at sharing his artistic life with the Greenport community as he was at sharing it with his family. In 1971, he opened Greenport’s very first art gallery, The Greenport Art Studio and Instructional Center, in the building that currently houses Eastern Long Island Hospital’s Opportunity Shop.

His work was always a presence in the town, all the time he lived here, said Vince Quatroche. So many of the images that I found so compelling had been part of my life since I was a little boy. It wasn’t until I grew up that I began to understand how good they were.




Matador Review 1/11/06  I had the pleasure of meeting Vincent Quatroche at The Poetry Brew in York Pennsylvania last November. Following the reading I swapped a copy of my chapbook for his spoken word CD “Matador From Another Planet”.  I do believe I made out better on the deal than Vincent did. Quatroche brings the listener on a journey through observations of life and the human condition.  This collection of poetry often references baseball, bars, females and decaying automobiles with the reverence of a priest holding Sunday morning communion.  The background music, led by Dan Berggren on acoustic guitar keeps pace with the delivery of Quatroche on each of the 18 poems on the disc.  How can one describe the pace of this CD?  A line from the first track, “Of the Aural & Visual” describes it best: “If I could throw the verbal heat like a Koufax fastball who could catch it?”
“Matador From Another Planet”is like a Koufax fastball and after a few plays the listener fully understands that Quatroche just may have a better change up then Koufax ever dreamed of throwing.
     . –G. Emil Rutter @



Author Poet FROM ANOTHER PLANET INDEED …In one creative writing class or another, the textbook came with a companion CD so we could hear poets speak their words. So often, as readers, we’re not able to fully enjoy a work as read by its author, in his/her own voice and read at their pace. That’s why there are poetry readings. Not only to provide poets with a place to display their work, but so the audience can benefit in hearing it. Taken to the next level, Vincent Quatroche, area educator and self-described bar-fly, blends background music, samples and sound effects in with his spoken word on “Matador From Another Planet.” Quatroche has been recording his work since the late 70s and “Matador From Another Planet” is the 5th in a series with long time colleague, friend and collaborator Dan Berggren. In fact, the album was released on Berggren’s Sleeping Giant Records and features a handful of players on everything from a jews harp to a didgeridoo. The result isn’t a loss of the spoken words, but a heightening of them. The sounds complement the pieces by tying invisible stanzas together and solidifying the empty spaces where a breath is taken or the silence is meant to put emphasis on a point. If not for anything else, the album is a spark. After a listen I found myself busting out “Nighthawks At The Diner” and reading Bukowski a little more frequently. Sure, that’s a bit ambitious to reference Tom Waits and another name mentioned in reviews of Quatroche’s work. But it’s the truth. To pull from its own description, “Matador…” is in short, “your late night companion in the car or by candlelight for libation and reflection.”
– Nick Dean  Freelance Arts Columnist
Vincent Quatroche and his collaborators showcase a vast arsenal of tones, sounds, and vocabulary on the spoken word artist’s latest, Matador From Another Planet. The writer displays a certain reverence for like baseball (cited often on this record), decaying automobiles, barrooms, and females (see the lively, conversationalist cut “An Understanding”. But despite his flair for description, Quatroche can also can just spit it out, as he claims in opener Of the Aural and Visual. Taking dead aim and hitting the mark often, Quatroche simultaneously questions and embraces absurdity in his many takes on the “unfinished symphony of contemporary madness ! .” Quatroche’s ability to bounce between the casual and the meaningful serves as one of his great strengths as writer and producer. The sharply edited “Beat the Clock”, with its Eno/Floyd washes and meditative/declarative stance, is a stirring highlight. Penultimate track “Forever and a Day” displays a very real vulnerability and a surprising and beautiful left turn. It’s as intense as any invective moment on this album and it’s also a musical peak, as Dan Berggren’s acoustic guitar provides a moving counterpoint to Quatroche’s reflections on fatherhood and infinity. Musically, Matador settles into no particular genre. Rather, many touchstones comprise the whole such as the aforementioned Eno, reverbed-out guitar strums that remind of Galaxie 500, synth soundscapes, digiridoo drones, and elaborate sound design/effects pieces. Through this album, Quatroche leaves room for imagination and understandings unspoken, and shows himself to be unafraid to mix sharp social commentary, absurdist humor and imagist nostalgia. to his credit, he is strictly defined by none of the above, rather utilizing many tools to make Matador a coherent, yet diverse and successful work.
– Jim Briggs NYC Sound Designer
Once again Quatroche slithers up the river Styx in a speedboat damming the paddles and life preservers. Matador is chock full of stale cigarettes, spilled drinks, broken glass and rich metaphors. Bad breath and vaginal odor turn to sweet aroma at every turn. We are all reminded of just how shabby our existence really is and we get this sneaky feeling that somehow he is the keeper of the clock with his thumb on the reset button. The end is near but we can’t seem to get off bar stool to the soapbox. We’re all going to straighten it out soon before the bell tolls. Tenderness gets sticky even in the cold blustery winters of western NY.
The roar of the crowd seems somewhat stifled by the overwhelming sense of doom and delight. One’s existence means nothing and everything. We are all helplessly being sucked into a vacuum gasping for air as Vince carefully directs the nozzle time ! As time is measured in innings and women play a carnal role for the hungry kings of the abyss. These semi auto biographical nightmares take you from the bar stool , ballpark to the utility closet in one swoop while the author sips a cold one from the comfort of his 1940s cubical; safe from the carnage he creates. Basking in the glory of his twisted heroics he’s Like the puppet master weaving his magic. He brings you back and forth from this European Trafamadore in the blink of an eye.
The obvious questions are has Mr Quatroche been visiting other worlds prior to being here and whether a hounds tooth jacket can be a charcoal gray ??????? An Irish Spring Commercial gone horribly wrong. Fat unattractive desperate people unenthused about life bearing personal crosses they’d rather not. Loneliness is overwhelming. Nobody gets laid right, and if they do, their lives end tragically then and there. All wander through the ever engulfing muck with vacuous minds with no apparent urgency. Kraftwerk meets Lothar and the Hand People. They marry and create a new and unique sound track channeled by the musicians here. Sterling was slightly more cryptic only for the fact he sensed his own impending doom.
Quatroche swings a broad blade and cuts deep into what we hold fast, and believe to be true. The problem is as always. No one saw it coming. Quatroche casts a long shadow most days after 3PM. His narrative is all consuming as he draws you in with words and effects one might come across in a bad dream. His characters and situations are the almost the norm, but revealed in a very different light. He throws open windows, doors, hatches and every available means to take you with him. Whether it’s Seattle on a cold rainy night or an abandon train station somewhere in Eastern Europe you are a helpless passenger on the VQ express. This is where he seems to thrive.
Once fairly normal people seem grossly distorted by life. He offers a constant Kaleidoscope of vision, and a monolog that’s just enough to pull you through next narrow orifice. Mechanical, rusty androids expire regularly from lack of proper maintenance.. They move listlessly through crooked dealerships with macabre thoughts of the final salvage yard. A bartender you’ve known for awhile keeps all things on the up! & up in his domain and keeps em coming through out your trip. Somehow you finally feel safe as you finally mount your perch as he draws you a cold one. You never get quite close enough to the characters as they remain faceless yet curiously familiar. You try unmasking each as they fade from view only to reappear just out of reach. Listen closely and you’ll feel and hear the things you fear the most… yourself…
– Patrick Clark  Artist/Musician/ Provocateur
Parallax Error David Jones with poems by Vincent Quatroche mn Gallery Chicago, Illinois September 6-28, 2002
Categories are everything and nothing in the arts. The difference between painters, printmakers and photographers can be very large or very small, depending on our point of view or on our vested interest in the distinctions. Artists have always struggled to separate what can be, under the worst conditions, warring aspects of themselves and their work. During the last decade, some have claimed the freedom to explore the new territory opened by the deconstruction of these categories. More than a simple dismantling, the actual classifications and boundaries between techniques are being reconceived by artists working in the spaces between photography, painting, digital media and printmaking.
The works in “Parallax Error” by David Jones are color photographs and lithographs; Jones uses the computer to create color separations and facilitate his experiments with scale. A layer of color added by hand to some images makes them–unlike digital media, prints or photographs–unique. Artists may be pulled in different directions by institutional barriers in the art world–among painting, printmaking, photography and poetry-but in this exhibit everything comes together.
Urban process is the subject and the means of Jones’ work. His photographs emerge from within the urban flux rather than from a critical or privileged distance. The resulting prints are the consequence of a complex pattern of public and private interactions in space and time that echo Jones’ engagement with life in the city. Two large night scenes are particularly compelling: Subtitle Revisited (2001) with the graceful blur of a person under a lighted marquee, and another, Matador From Another Planet (2001), depicting a crowd on the street watching an ambulance. Both of these photographs depict artificial light, and both evoke the resonant image of the city as a theater of human life. In the former we are caught by the mysterious glamour of the theater (or the cinema) and in the latter, we witness the inadvertent theater of the urban tragic: spectators assembled around an ambulance. People who have been transformed for a moment into bystanders are, like all urban protagonists, suddenly offered a terrible choice – to witness, and hence participate, or to turn away and deny their vulnerability. in the image only their backs are visible, and the crowd obscures the scene. There is an ambulance, but the spectator can’t see what the problem is. It may not be serious, but our imagination, or perhaps our fears about cities, supplies gravity and apprehension to the scene. A rich polarity is set up between the yellows and oranges of the ambulance lights and a hand-applied purple pigment that dramatizes the bystanders’ backs.
Those places which all photographers have to navigate, the unresolved gray that makes or breaks the night picture, have been transformed by Jones’ use of the halftone screen and process colors. The hand-coloring is subtle and only discernible after extended viewing, It intensifies the contrast between light and shadow. The emotional quality of the hue–a red-violet color normally not possible in a night photograph–also adds meaning to the image. A nice set of parallels and inversions is at work between these two pieces: the light in the crime, or accident, scene photo is surrounded by people, the person in the marquee photo is surrounded by light. just outside the area of the marquee, passersby in daylight seem just about to break the spell of the theatrical space. Parallax Error (2002), one of the larger pieces at 37″ x 42″, is an abstraction of artificial light around a barely discernible figure in which motion, glare, reflection and distortion are transmuted into visual rhythm. “Parallax” is the difference between the area taken in by the camera lens and the area seen in the viewfinder. In physics, parallax can be used to determine the distance between an observer and an object.
Jones scans his photographs to separate them into process colors–cyan, magenta and yellow. He uses Photoshop to break the large images (in order to keep the quality of the halftone resolution) into tiles or sheets that are about 8×10 inches, which he reassembles after each segment of the image is printed in three colors and black by a process called paper plate lithography. In his best works, a complex rhythm between technique and subject emerges. Jones keeps the nuances of these various technical processes in concert, and even extends the urban dialogue by hanging a set of poems among his photo-based images, composed by a longtime colleague, New York poet Vincent Quatroche.
Quatroche’s evocations of the cinematic restlessness of urban life are titled Lost Vorkapitch (a type of Soviet montage editing that shows the flow of time), Subtitle Re Visited and Motion Dreams Picture. He reminds us that Jones’ images are stolen from an endless flow. Quatroche’s jazz-based urban poetry starts and stops, syncopating verbal images. While certain phrases seem to comment on Jones’ work, others whirl off in another direction, miming the discontinuity of urban space and consciousness, creating something that comes very close to the mixing of distinct voices in improvisation. The phrases “Together we do an excellent job of seeing nothing” and “illumination intermission” comment directly on the image Parallax Error.
Interestingly, Quatroche’s sense of romantic longing and loss is not part of Jones’ work except in the photograph Parallax Error, where the image of a woman is almost lost in light and motion. Hanging poems between the photographs is ambitious and it works well, but the poetry suffers to some extent. Running a loop of the poet reading his works may have lent more presence to the cadences of Quatroche’s language and heightened the relationship between the works.
Jones–a master printer who often oversees the editioning of other notable artist’s work–uses paper instead of stone to produce his lithographic images, but much of the process, dependent on the aversion of oil to water, or ink to damp surface, is the same. After he has printed the segments or tiles of the image, he puts them together, adds color by hand and then coats the surface. The registration process creates slippage: each of the four colors, plus black, are printed over one another. The thick printmaking paper may expand or contract and the halftones will slip, showing the layers of color. Laying out the tiles to make the image adds another margin of error. The slippage echoes the parallax error, latent in the photographic process.
A large part of the melancholy and pleasure of Jones’ work, this slippage evokes the sadness of the distances that characterizes contemporary life. At the same time, the tiny imperfections break the illusionary surface created by the photographs. All of these details work together to remind the viewer of the artist’s work and of ours, the process of putting it all together. These marks of the artist’s hand bind us to, rather than exclude us from, the work, while the poet’s voice offers another level of intimacy to the urban everyday. We too are involved in urban process, of making and remaking the city.
JANINA CIEZADLO is a writer and artist who teaches in the Composition Program at the University of Illinois, Chicago. COPYRIGHT 2002 Visual Studies Workshop COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.

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