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Two poems by David P. Kozinski


Until just now I had forgotten

the name of the boraginaceous flower

that turns always to the sun

twining up a neighbor’s green stem

corkscrew fashion.

We pull to the warmth of coins left in the car,

the shine of newly buffed skin.

When I struggled with Algebra

Mr. Palmer suggested I tell people,

This isn’t in my nature, and offered

that maybe I’d turn out to have the faculty

for theoretical math. Alas, he fixed on the stars

and delighted at miracles.

But I knew it was the glint of the weightless hairs

on Thayer’s crossed thigh, invisible

until a sunbeam glanced in the window

that would stock my toolbox

and Debbie’s thrown back shoulders

and the sheen of her black mane flowing over them,

the geometry of the hardball field,

the bump and grind of carnival rides in Rockford Park

through the open windows of May,

the prickly wit of new foliage.

Anything but X and Y shoved next to numbers

to make problems,

their cardinal sleights.

Then, there are the night-bloomers

floating downriver

doing the mambo and the cha-cha-cha

while the children sleep; we who’ve resisted waking

all our lives, but once aroused

want to draw everything out

‘til the sun starts to crown.

Docent Talk

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…”

-Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Here is the moss the rolling stone never gathered

until it planted itself by the streambed

and began to grow its gaming table coat,

and there the bite the barking dog

will not inflict until the razor-backed lunge

and spray of saliva.

Listen to the heartbeat

that is one away from catastrophe

or from the freshet that pours up past the ribs

in a moment of peril, of embarkation.

If these exhibits seem more than a tittle outré,

you’re probably half right or would be

half the time. All of them should be familiar

to everyone who’s ever hidden in a trunk

or crossed a stile onto another’s land

and the last thing you want to see

is the reel of your life run backward

because this dimension is no more a circle

than an ushered walk down a hushed aisle

to the best and only seat left.

David P. Kozinski’s manuscript, I Hear It the Way I Want It to Be, was a finalist for the Inlandia Institute’s 2020 Hillary Gravendyke Prize and is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. He received an Established Professional Poetry Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts. Publications include Tripping Over Memorial Day (Kelsay Books) and his chapbook, Loopholes (Broadkill Press) which received the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. He was named Mentor of the Year by Expressive Path, which fosters arts participation for underserved youth. In 2020 he became the resident poet at the Rockwood Park and Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.

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