Patrick Kosiewicz

Improvised Explosive Device: a New Novel of the Iraq War

How Many Suns Burn Over Babel Where Poets Dieby Patrick Kosiewicz 2012 farfalla press/McMillan &Parrish by Susan Scutti In How Many Suns Burn Over Babel Where Poets Die, author Patrick Kosiewicz employs the popular form of interconnected stories to narrate his vision of the War in Iraq. The compelling opening chapter is of a “bibliocaust,” the burning of a library by the infidels, while a professor “clutching three archaic codices to his chest” watches and cries. Preservers of culture and looters alike attempt to save the library's treasures while arsonists and other “bibliocidal maniacs” ward them off with pipes, sticks and even pistols. The chapter ends with a small group of men in a pickup truck; they will obtain weapons, ammunition and explosives in exchange for the ancient, invaluable books they steal, and with these ill-gotten gains, kill many other people though driver and gunner will also die “...shooting and smiling and praising God.” In the second chapter, Kosiewicz follows an unnamed American soldier who wakes in a house smelling of guns and takes a midday run along a sandy road. Through Kosiewicz's eyes a reader cinematically observes the soldier as he jogs through an unidentified region past hummers and abandoned outposts as well as the many faithful saying their prayers. “Some respected him for being able to speak their language. Others hated him even more.” Like a despised Odysseus his return home is greeted by a dog who rushes around the corner of the latrine, teeth bared. The third chapter ascends the void to describe the creation of the Angel Destroyer while the fourth glimpses a suicide bomber as he lingers over the application of lipstick and kohl eyeliner in preparation for his moment as “death in drag.” Approaching his targets, an Interior Ministry official and a district police chief, he recalls his mother, whose pretty face resembles his own. Other chapters are peopled by a dead child and a grieving mother, bikini-clad “journalists” and American soldiers, the translator who, in his village, is rumored dead or living as a Christian in Italy, and a daughter who is raped by her own father.

Kosiewicz's use of concise, descriptive sentences, similar to the work of Thaddeus Rutkowski, readily conveys the extreme indignities of war. Meanwhile, the separate chapters offer insightful though fleeting glimpses into often nameless characters in unidentified places; gradually they accumulate and fit together like the parts necessary to improvise a bomb. As one chapter dissolves into the next, boundaries of identity, image, religion, and mythology blur until the narrative comes to an end with the arrival of a familiar figure and familiar name. Cain is not, as some say, the “offspring of the serpent and the mother of all humanity” but a simple human born of man and woman: “the first to feel an empowering wrath flow in his veins” and “the first to say that it was he who owned, and that his was more valuable.” Kosiewicz is satisfied with nothing less than tracing the war back to its most primal origin.

Creating a cohesive novel through interlinked stories is a difficult trick for most writers (though just such a feat was consummately accomplished by Gilbert Sorrentino in “The Abyss of Human Illusion”). Although Kosiewicz frontloads each chapter with vivid enough details to quickly establish new character and new place, sometimes the drive of the narrative falters; in places this reader felt somewhat less compelled to push on to the end. No matter. The strength of Kosiewicz's vision is rare enough to warrant a close and careful reading; even more rare is his temperament of sensitivity and bravery. (He is a veteran of the war of which he writes.) Ultimately, Kosiewicz achieves much in this minimal, sand storm of a novel that conveys all that is eternal in one specific, contemporary conflict. How Many Suns Burn Over Babel Where Poets Die is an achievement to be read and savored.

The Geoglyph

geoglyph1.jpg The Geoglyph

by Patrick Kosiewicz

$10 (Trade Paperback)

Fly by Night Press

77 pp

ISBN-13: 9781930083165

Published 30 Dec 2008

Available at St. Marks Bookshop Advanced Praise

"In this age of confessional poems or political poetics, the poet of The Geoglyph has given us a long poem about the nature of nature, the trees that are in our memory, the eternal sunrise, the tribal sense of

ceremony, the mysteries of deepest waters. It is not a scientific diatribe, but a song, indeed it feels like incantation as he makes us imagine the shamens, the cycles celestial, something geological coming from the heart of New York.  I cannot help of thinking of some of the movements of Michael McClure, of his use of logos.  Mr. Kosiewicz makes his own language of disparate influences. I felt many poetic intuitions

turning these pages, a wise bird flies out of its words."

-Victor Hernandez Cruz, Chancellor, Academy of American Poets

 

"Patrick Kosiewicz is an emerging poet of substantial power and versatility. The Geoglyph is an innovative work that breaks language open to bring us face to face with the microscopic and macroscopic elements of existence.  While the poet takes many risks, they invariably lead to extraordinary rewards."

-Pablo Medina, author, The Cigar Roller; translator, Poet in New York Synopsis

Combining the visions of scientist, sage, and poet, The Geoglyph explores the powers of the elements, the astounding immensity of our planet's physicality, bio-diversity, and humankind's presence as caretaker of and apprentice to the only place in the known universe to harbor life.

In this epic poem, Life and Earth's parallel movement through the ages is observed with millennial eyes that peer into the molecular, organic, planetary, and cosmic. Here, the primitive is the civilized.  The primordial is the most advanced. Here, humanity is the technician of Earth, and Earth, technician of humanity's soul.

Book Party and Reading

 Book Cover FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Fly by Night Press is proud to announce the publication of The Geoglyph by Patrick Kosiewicz Book Party and Reading

16 November 2008

at ñ

33 Crosby Street NYC

5-7 pm

featuring guest poets

Margarita Shalina

Jon Reeve

Praise for The Geoglyph:

"In this age of confessional poems or political poetics, the poet of

The Geoglyph has given us a long poem about the nature of nature, the trees

that are in our memory, the eternal sunrise, the tribal sense of

ceremony, the mysteries of deepest waters. It is not a scientific diatribe,

but a song, indeed it feels like incantation as he makes us imagine the

shamens, the cycles celestial, something geological coming from the heart

of New York.  I cannot help of thinking of some of the movements of

Michael McClure, of his use of logos.  Mr. Kosiewicz makes his own

language of disparate influences. I felt many poetic intuitions

turning these pages, a wise bird flies out of its words."

-Victor Hernandez Cruz, Chancellor, the Academy of American Poets

 

"Patrick Kosiewicz is an emerging poet of substantial power and versatility.  The Geoglyph is an innovative work that breaks language open to bring us face to face with the microscopic and macroscopic elements of existence.  While the poet takes many risks, they invariably lead to extraordinary rewards." -Pablo Medina, author of The Cigar Roller Fly by Night Press 285 e 3rd Street NY NY 10009

Steve Cannon, Editor in Chief

(212) 674-8262

ENDS