Crown , 2022
90 x 63 x 1 in (h x w x d)
Mixed Media

On “The Desert Warrior”

“The Desert Warrior” could belong to the genre of Hunter S. Thompson’s "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," Jack Kerouac’s "On the Road," and Ken Kesey’s "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

Any reader familiar with "The Odyssey," or the opus "Odysseus in America," will recall that the seer who told Odysseus how to get home was Tiresias, the blind, transgendered prophet. Tiresias told Odysseus he had to get the "west wind" to blow him home. In “The Desert Warrior,” a vision appears, calling the author west into the desert of the US Southwest. None of this is a coincidence.

It's definitely a psychedelic "road" book. Dallocchio’s visions in the book speak to a Native Chamorro (Pacific Islander) tradition of dream interpretation and have mythic resonance. The author combines two great literary traditions, one ancient, the other post-modern, to create an authentically unique 21st century archetypal narrative of a soldier's homecoming.

What Dallocchio appears to be saying about her return home, to a redefinition of home, is that she’s making an odyssey from the profane space of war and her experience of combat to a sacred space called "home." “The Desert Warrior” journey works on three levels: one - the physical movement around the world and across the country; two - the inner journey; and three - the mythic journey, which is universal.

“The Desert Warrior” is an important statement about the "new" or 21st-century veteran and the experience of homecoming to a changing America.

- Lieutenant Colonel Michael Zacchea, USMC (Ret), author of "The Ragged Edge"

These past few years have been marked with quite a few creative breakthroughs and personal loss. Michael Zacchea was one of those losses earlier this year and one of my biggest champions for my writing. I was extremely lucky to have him in my life, and much like this piece, "Crown," he understood the journey I had described in my book, "The Desert Warrior," and all of its triumphs, frustrations, and illuminating moments.

Here's to you, Mike.

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