August 2010

Philip Kobylarz


Philip Kobylarz has poetry and stories recently published in Volt, Whiskey Island Review, Notre Dame Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Massachusetts Review. He lives in the Bay Area.

Silent Movie    

—an old theatre, outskirts of Krakow

Ordinary field with haystacks by Monet except for the black scissors
of crows flying over. The trees are dot-to-dot on a straight line
of horizon. If the definition of the word field is emptiness, so all fields
are the stuff of the ordinary. Long yellow spokes of the wheelchair;
it and the woman it carries date something like nineteen thirty nine.
She sees only wooden sticks spinning. Wooden sticks turning.
And turning�

Weeds growing in between the wind-bleached ties of the abandoned
railroad track. Weeds are growing as if to cover them in the thought
of green. Eager vegetables in the garden grow at night shaking
in the shadows like an imperceptible breeze moving in the dark
where there aren't shadows. There are bands of parallel steel
running over hills never ever to intersect. Bands of steel
and wood covered in a variety of wildflowers. In the hothouse
behind the brick stables, rare blooms and buddings are cultivated.
An old oak grows in the open square of the Ministry and is revered
for its black branches, ossified rivers, rows of rows of gallows-points:

(spoons, marionettes in tiny uniforms, tin boxes, bed springs
fashioned into the shapes of pipes, and letters. Letters never
received, letters read over and over, letters in faded ink hidden
under the bed. Boxes and old bed spreads of letters. Letters,
and old words and the Arabic of hurried notes. Scribblings,
and sketches of the faces of friends. Faces that once knew
one another�)

Rooms and the hundreds of rooms lived in. Some with
the basics: a bed (blue cover) and a desk with a writing lamp,
matching shades, a rug made of horse hair on the floor.
Some very elaborate with mahogany desks and crystal vases
of edelweiss upon them. Tablature etched into the skin
of a birch. The trees, are they aspens?, permeated by diagonal
spears and drifts of curtains and veils of dust and rays of light�

cloth from hair, bones ground in potting soil (remember to use
eggshells) fingernails and fillings, ashes to dust and dust to stones.



Philip Kobylarz: Poetry
Copyright ©2010 The Cortland Review Issue 48The Cortland Review