The Works of Philip Kobylarz

Philip Kobylarz has had work appear in Connecticut Review, Basalt, Santa Fe Literary Review, New American Writing, Poetry Salzburg Review and the Best American Poetry anthology. His book, Rues, was recently published by Blue Light Press of San Francisco.

All Poems © Philip Kobylarz 

of exes and spots

the last of the summer flies
buzz in circles on the window sill.
Their evasion of months of cobwebs
and fan blades have earned them
this much. A final hurrah at the warped
window panes, the manic whir
of their magnetic wings;
they drop like anise seeds
and dry into caskets of lint in the light
of late November. They suspected the air
outside was warmer when it wasn't.
Heat being a factor of magnification.
The physics of glass, sun, and angle
stir the soup of air as invisible as chopsticks.
When the physics of memory
and tables of elements lie.
Same as ever
belladonna casts off her batik scarves
and the fields outside wash to ochre,
umber, sienna, sepia, dun; (sash
weights ripening inside the walls)
a knocking heard from within. Outside
the harvest's opulence of gourd and blackberry
is revealed by the naked black limbs
of the trees gesture to the lovers
walking their dog up the grass hill where
there is an acorn tree and a hundred
and sixty degree view.

Portraiture of cities,
or knots in the tails of kites,
trail vines of smoke that empty off clouds
or shadows of clouds lit up like war.
The radio tower's aerials blink
their single red eyes
to the contrails of jets 
that are trying to spell


From that day, one vow deliriously broken. Waking
state: when eyes are naturally chameleon-like
and the alarm, merely a type, that once levitated
Byzantine emperors, now confined to a dumb metal
ringing, really a cry for help. Another day, oncoming.
To, or not, butter the hair. Breakfast of dried palm leaves.
Tea with milk, on the balcony, above the city-fresco
too many times well-captured in paintings mode
struck with a polluted haze. Bored commuters
graduated to solitude of their singular cars, moveable
coffins, free to groom themselves at every third
traffic light. She carried with her an ague of the
heart. Never to ease, alone cease, with baths of jazz,
lavender water, milk of roses. Like the haunted
in a badly written story, naiveté is believed with a dash
of over-desired suspense. Perhaps this time it's
a mummy in the grandfather clock not disappearing
with each stroke of time. Counting, as if it ends.
Colored either bright red, or red gone orange, when
poppies cease to bloom, hats become sought out
from stores of fashionable repute. Rain holds its own
therapeutic value. Coldness. Downpours separate one sea
from another, one Ligurian, the other, not. What's
left to be built in a day. Pasquinades, a greatcoat,
the number plate of some obscure lodging. Something
shared in common by us, buildings, angels, weather. Falls.