Kanji Amerikana by Philip Kobylarz


Kanji Amerikana pulls us in with its powerful majesty. These poems address the complexity of a deceptively simple world. At times, we are transported through urban landscapes rife with their own particular– and oftentimes tragic– sense of Romanticism. At others, we are carried through cerebral lyrical discourses that stress the importance of the examined life. The poems range from the concrete to the abstract, from the formal to the informal. This collection showcases all of Kobylarz’s talents. He is a true master. —Eachan Holloway


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 108
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: September, 2017
  • ISBN: 978-1-939929-86-0


“I have long looked to Philip Kobylarz for lines that break the news.” —David Hamilton

“I sucked up Kanji Amerikana at a single reading. Couldn’t put it down. It’s what I’m looking for in a book of poetry today, movement and revelation. And a good deal of heart that reveals itself without agonizing self-consciousness, only the bent toward honesty. Philip Kobylarz is a fresh talent without pretension, just a very special gift for play and profundity.” —Stephen D. Gutierrez

In Kanji Amerikana, Philip Kobylarz, like the best dance partners, leads you into a journey of mind, spirit, body and soul. His images are full of unexpected music. “The light / of the instant filtered through thunderheads making the wine glasses / of the picnic goers sing.” His images cut to the core of things – “wind-smoothed monoliths / where would stand a cross of cedar in celebration / of the bones of a kite.” His poems are an invitation to pay attention to the tiny moments that make life sparkle and shine. “Oranges in a porcelain bowl on the table behind / two shaded wine bottles and a teapot steeping.” And suddenly, life becomes large with vision, as “The horned owl threads the forest …” “Snow over the sea … Fire- / works set upwards or falling stars – last messages.” This book is the work of a master poet, revealing the images and the wisdom inside of core of the universe and your own soul. —Diane Frank


circa nineteen thirty seven

the locomotive dopplers in the distance under a flaming tongue
of steam; the weather or its antecedent– a mist of night.
Red snapper in the coastal town just passed through
is infected with bloodworms. Switch back into the valley
six hundred feet above the city lights, engine
going backwards and rising. A passenger in the reflection
of the blue window puts on a Bolivian hat
tilting it on his skull a little towards some northern
latitude. Musical instruments in the scrap yard
are an abandoned park swing and a broken wind chime:
the tonsils in the bells missing. Dogs barking at their
own sound. Haiku in the outlines of barbed wire fence
running along the tracks for miles, taking passengers
on a path unaligned and leaning in cursive.


Philip KobylarzPhilip Kobylarz is a teacher and writer of fiction, poetry, and essays. He has worked as a journalist and film critic for newspapers in Memphis. His work appears in such publications as Paris Review and The Best American Poetry series. He is the author of a book of poems concerning life in the south of France and a short story collection titled Now Leaving Nowheresville. His creative non-fiction collection All Roads Lead from Massilia is forthcoming from Bequem Publishing of Adelaide, Australia and his most recent book now available from Brooklyn’s Lit Riot Press is titled A Miscellany of Diverse Things.

Additional information

Weight 9 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in