Philip Kobylarz's poems, essays, and short stories appear in such journals as The Iowa Review, Paris Review, and Massachusetts Review. Currently he is engaged in the study of how to be/not be.
Rues presents often fascinating views of how the mind might build analogues for the way disparate situations come to constitute a place. The poems build haphazard acts of attention into quasi-surreal urban extensions of haiku. The primary effect is our involvement in intricate fields of feeling-for what gathers the elements together and for our own capacities of surprise that we come to care about that gathering.
The tender little meditations that compose Rues are windows onto a landscape, not precisely real but not not real either. "All views are interiors," Kobylarz reminds us, nonetheless presenting a spectacle of gorgeously observed worldly wonders. From the "hoodoos of shit" dogs leave on the street to the "slow burning aureoles" of women smoking in the "almost nude," the real, the imagined and the surreal gracefully entangle. Even so, over all these poems, a patina of ruefulness presides: a regret, a longing: the world caught in the act of vanishing.
-Karen Brennan, Author of The Real Enough World
Acuity and duration of attention can indeed create a world, and that is exactly what Philip Kobylarz has accomplished with Rues. (The pun on rues is perfectly in keeping with the mischief of poetry and with the regret attendant upon all loving and urgent attention.) Every one of these poems is a world found and lost, and yet the loss is somehow always a glory, a radiance. To read this book is to travel widely and deeply. Go!
Philip Kobylarz's epigrammatic poems lead us into silences. They also remind us that poetry is a tribute to Mystery. These lucid moments found in concrete and small, if not insignificant object and places, point to quiet revelations of ordinary things. By elevating ordinary moments to the level of the Silence, Kobylarz validates every small and minute detail of existence.