Released 60 years ago, Separate Tables, directed by Delbert Mann, feels ahead of its time, especially in the context of the #MeToo Movement, the Women’s March, and the recent criticism of toxic masculinity. The 1958 film features female characters that thwarted the conventions of the time and a male character who embellishes his personal history to fit into a rigid gender construct.Read More
By Mark Danowsky, Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal
Tripping Over Memorial Day is available on Amazon:
Poems like “Since I Have More Past Than Future” and “All So Long and So Soon Over” give the reader a sense of the place Kozinski speaks from in this collection’s poems. It is a place of loss and nostalgia, yet still the offer of hope for future pleasures and memories.
Kozinski’s close attention to the line, his diction and, in particular, sound, make these poems pop off the page. I encourage readers to reflect on mouth-feel in the following phrases:
“Again, a tongue reaches down from far above / to lick your ear with a mellifluous subornation.”
[from] “Getting to War”
“cold shushes the gossip”
[from] “New Year”
“Those I must dust most I will hand down first”
[from] “Love Lingers on the Chaise”
There’s an underlying unease that creeps into many Kozinski poems—a force with potentially ill intentions. Whatever this force is, speakers of these poems often subtly nudge the reader to be on high alert.
“Because the salting trucks crumbled the curbs / the weeds will have their way.”
“Best to travel here in the light, / to look like you know where you are.”
[from] “On the First Afternoon of Spring”
“At first I didn’t know / it had come to stay”
“pushed by the dark, rising”
[from] “Out My West Window”
Moments in Kozinski’s poems linger in the back of your mind.
Imagine a boy who thinks his mother
can sew a stovepipe hat for a box turtle,
can catch autumn in a jar of red leaves,
a daughter who dreamt her father built a fire
high enough to warn the world.
[from] “Imagine This House Empty”
Kozinski’s poem “Boxwood” concludes:
Last autumn with the leaf blower
I uncovered a robin, lifeless on the ground,
left alone. They haven’t the tools to bury
their dead and wouldn’t waste time
and strength on rites if they did.
It’s hard enough just making new ones.
David P. Kozinski is the author of Loopholes (The Broadkill Press) which won the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. Awards include the Delaware Literary Connection’s 2015 spring poetry prize and the 2007 Dr. Eugene Szatkowski Achievement Award for his poetry and visual art. He was one of ten poets selected by Robert Bly for a workshop sponsored by American Poetry Review. His poetry has appeared in more than 25 publications, in print and online. Kozinski serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center in Philadelphia, where he has hosted readings and conducted a poetry workshop for adults. He has also led workshops for teens at the Montgomery County Youth Center and at Roosevelt High School, both in Pennsylvania, for Expressive Path, a non-profit organization that encourages youth participation in the arts. He serves as Art Editor for Schuylkill Valley Journal Online and lives in Wilmington, Delaware.
~ There are films that stand, and I believe will continue to stand, the test of time. ~
by Mark Danowsky, Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal
[from the opening of The End of the Tour (2015)]
Writer David Lipsky has this appreciation.
To read David Foster Wallace was to feel your eyelids pulled open.
Some writers specialize in the 'away from home' experience.
They have safaried, eaten across Italy, covered a war.
Wallace offered his alive self, cutting through our sleepy aquarium, our standard TV, stores, political campaigns.
Writers who can do this... like Salinger and Fitzgerald... forge an unbreakable bond with readers. You didn't slip into the books looking for a story, information, but for a particular experience...the sensation, for a certain number of pages, "of being David Foster Wallace." If anything, there was a conscious attempt... to not give overt direction, although, of course, you end up becoming yourself.
It’s said that the music you come to love in early high school will calcify. So too, I suspect, with the films you encounter in those impressionable times. But it’s not just that music, those films—it’s what it felt like to be you engaging with the media.
Famously, Marshall McLuhan says: “The medium is the message.” Is this not reductive? Sure, the medium plays a role in how we perceive content, but the medium itself cannot be everything. Nowadays, nearly all the novel-length fiction I opt to consume is via audiobook. None of these novels were dictated and/or first disseminated as auditory media; I have determined what works best for me (given my own idiosyncrasies) and selected my ideal medium.
“A good idea is a good idea…forever.” -David Brent (The Office, UK)
This is false. There are films that are very much of the time and for the time. These films do not hold up.
In his 1837 address, The American Scholar, Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaims, “I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system. The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul.” This puts the TV viewer in a particularly uncomfortable space. How are we supposed to feel about actively enjoying our passivity?
We don’t watch a movie like The End of the Tour for plot, and it’s not a documentary—we enter for the sensation—we enter because, for the duration of the film, those 106 minutes, we get to be a satellite in the solar system that is David Foster Wallace.
[When we talk about David Foster Wallace there’s a factor of preterhuman intellect that comes into play. I’m by no means the first or last person who will say they engage with a DFW text because they feel smarter while doing so.]
I’m doing my best to establish that tone, in a broad sense, is a reason why viewers enjoy a film like The End of the Tour. I believe we take pleasure in watching Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003) for very much the same reason.
In atmospheric cinematic experiences, we want to feel the way we feel while we’re watching. There are an impressive number of films that pull off this transaction and I’m admittedly tempted to begin unpacking them here and now—but my point is that: because the takeaway is experiential these works stand the test of time.
[This is not unlike the way good poetry operates. You can’t “explain” a good poem, the act of reading (and re-reading) the poem is the only option.]
Films like Lost in Translation and The End of the Tour are not about the message; they are not so much an escape from so much as an escape to.
The Six Parts Seven – Everywhere and Right Here
Signal Hill – More After We’re Gone
The Echelon Effect – Sierra
Tristeza – A Colores
Lanterna – Highways
Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun
Ásgeir – Dýrð í dauðaþögn (Icelandic original of “In the Silence”)
Talk Demonic – Ruins
Burial – Untrue
Ólafur Arnalds – ...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness
Do Make Say Think – Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead
Explosions in the Sky – All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Dirty Three – Ocean Songs
Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came
Aerial M (David Pajo) – Self-titled
Wye Oak – Shriek
Volcanic Choir – Unmap
>> Poet Patric Nuttall introduced me to the following <<
Balmorhea (check out the album “River Arms”)
>>> Extra Credit <<<
Good Tunes for Walking the Streets of a Metropolitan area
Fourtet – Rounds
The SVJ hopes to publish a follow-up post with reader responses.
Please send information about what you listen to while you write (& read) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and for your interest!
Foreign settings coupled with familiar concepts and human perceptions seduce the reader into these possible worlds.Read More
~ highlights and recommendations from recent issues of literary journals ~Read More
A skeleton key has been “reduced to its essential parts.” 
Revising a poem to what you want to say—need to say—is much of the work required on your journey to create something worthwhile. As you craft a poem, you sculpt language, razor away distraction, dissolve false paths, abolish esoteric digressions, and so on—until you have done the hard labor that encourages a valuable reading experience with a generous, thought-provoking takeaway. Each poem is the wheel anew, conjured as if out of nothing.
Managing Editor for the SVJ
 Collins English Dictionary
~ highlights and recommendations from recent issues of literary journalsRead More
In late 2016, Anton Yakovlev released Ordinary Impalers (Kelsay Books). Yakovlev was born in Moscow, then studied poetry and film at Harvard. Yakovlev has released two poetry chapbooks, The Ghost of Grant Wood (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and Neptune Court (The Operating System, 2015). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Hopkins Review and The Stockholm Review of Literature. Yakovlev has translated the poetry of Sergei Esenin and directed short films.Read More