“Return To The Things That Matter”: A Book Excerpt Series from A Miscellany of Diverse Things by Philip Kobylarz

Now available as an early release on Amazon ($15.95) and Barnes & Noble ($15.95) or ordered by your local bookstore, check IndieBound.

In this time of intolerance, lies & spies, the ugly leading the blind . . .



outside of the realm of marketing there are only two kinds: red and champagne (white being a bastardization). Wine is liquid soul-transformation (not to be mixed-up with transmogrification). It is the sacramental blood extracted from meals. In its bleached form it compliments seafood as if the decadence of raw or barely cooked fish weren’t enough.

kindness of strangerS

is best when unexpected, which it never is. At the same time, it is about as rare as street are clean. Like that bedeviling form of love, it too must go unrequited.


the necessary background that lends reality, views of cities, gazes into the distance, and star watchers a margin. Illustrations of the after- and before-life. The sole ingredient of most inspiration.

the kisS

as many types of these as there are words for snow in Eskimo. A very tasty way of exchanging the Spirit, in breath and touch, as the Cathars meant. As sexual manuals preach, they are less frequent as matters turn more serious; as preludes a more serious matter couldn’t be happened upon. Welcomed when given between friends, as experienced in foreign countries, but despised when required from family. The jury is still out on in the case of ones stolen. Are best when moderately wet and accompanied with a hug.

kindness of strangerS

is best when unexpected, which it never is. At the same time, it is about as rare as streets are clean. Like that bedeviling form of love, it too must go unrequited.

telephone boothS

those that are most pertinent are those somewhat filled with sand. The others are momentary motel rooms stained with the mean ends of cigarettes and carved graffito. They are hospitable as Southerners in the context of a rainstorm.

cinnamon toothpickS

very very inexpensive dessert. Usually these are childhood’s’ first introduction to cooking and at the same time their introduction to oral fixation which steadily is replaced by 1) suckers 2) bubble gum 3) pencils & pens 4) edibles {popsicles and the like} 5.) eventually, sexual body parts 6) cigarettes 7) beer bottles or those of soda 8) pipes for men and lips for women.


these gentle, meditative creatures practice tai chi as we, having harnessed them to our most pose-able and moving of limbs, whisk them in g-forces of positions that they can only dream their own arms capable of. Inside their stoic faces they contain beating hearts of quartz. Their ticking is capable of throwing the ultra sensitive into psychological mêlée or putting baby bunnies to sleep– a dichotomy that must be heavy in relative meaning. Meaning: they tock.

Early Reviews


With nods to Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des Idées Recues and Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, Kobylarz moves beyond a contained lexicon to a flung-open cabinet of curiosities. Encyclopedic in its compilation (more than 400 entries in this volume), miscellany avoids the static inventory list of a storehouse to embody the world as theatre. – Sabrina Barreto


“A master of whimsy and insight, a slinger of words, a nihilist, a believer, an archarchist – all wrapped into one! Kobylarz transforms the mundane into the extraordinary in this new book. Nothing is spared his critical eye as he picks apart the world arounds us, criticizing as well as justifying the existence of the routine, the prosaic, and even the profane. As a result, we are all better for it. Yes, as Wordsworth is would say, the “world is too much with us,” but Kobylarz emphasises that this must always be so. We cannot turn away from our world. To do so would be the end of art everywhere.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“Kobylarz is digging deep and striking veins of originality with each new book. He’s never boring. He’s always fun. He’s not a lightweight, though. He’s a significant American talent with true dazzle and depth. I recommend him for the jaded and curious.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“What is this curiosity? A compendium of thought? A philosophy of epistemology? An antidote to ennui and the blah and non-reality that is now? `It is what it isn’t and everything more: song-like verbal constructions that lead us to that which inspires, to the real within the veneer. This is manic brilliance at its best and the odd thing: it’s all very funny. This is the type of book that you will return and return to to remember why we even have language in the first place.” – (5-stars) Amazon


“Upon completion of the first page, the reader will be intimately drawn in, Koby sets a stage and narrative like no other author in contemporary American literature. In short, he has no equals. He and his work stand on alone on a stage of their own making, a stage that is at once refreshingly new, and comfortably familiar. His first book ‘Rues’ set the tone for modern poetry, with his second, ‘Nowheresville.” he told multiple tales of tragedy, loss, and isolation. With this book, he continues in classic Kobylarz fashion, pushing the boundaries of American literature and, indeed, what is acceptable to put on a page.” – (5-stars) Amazon

Now Available!

Author: Philip Kobylarz
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9976943-7-6
Pages: 208
Retail: $15.95 | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound 
HUMOR / General. | HUMOR / Topic / Language. | POETRY / Subjects & Themes / General | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Vocabulary | LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Reference. Wholesale purchase options will be available for booksellers and non-booksellers.



About Philip Kobylarz

Philip Kobylarz is an itinerant teacher of the language arts and writer of fiction, journalism, poetry, book reviews, and essays. He has been a journalist, a film critic, a veterinarian’s assistant, a deliverer of furniture, and by default, an ascetic. His work appears in such publications as Paris ReviewPoetryThe Best American Poetry series, Massachusetts Review, andNew American Writing. His first book, Zen-inspired poems concerning life in the south of France, is entitled rues. His second book, short stories and a novella, is titled Now Leaving Nowheresville. His book-length essay about the city of Marseille & Provence that is a response to Baudrillard’s seminal text America is forthcoming from Truth Serum Press of Adelaide, Australia. He lives ever so temporarily in the east bay of San Francisco.