MadHat Press

Broken Color by Dean Kostos

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Jungian psychology advises that when traveling through difficult territory, one should look to a symbol for guidance. The poems in Broken Color heed this wisdom. Whether the poet navigates memories of childhood trauma, unlocks the mysteries of great art, or explores the depths of his Greek heritage, Kostos taps into the alchemy of the symbolic realm that mediates between mind and body, reflection and experience, identity and its permutations. The result is a contemporary Gnostic poetics in which “Flesh becomes intellect / Joints bend into grammar.…” and “Angels emboss human veins.” If you’re in need of transcendence, start here.

—Jerome Sala, author of The Cheapskates and Corporations Are People, Too!


Deeply personal and keenly observed, Dean Kostos’s Broken Color offers up a luminous journey that ebbs and flows toward the poet-artist's complicated but sympathetic recognition of a multifaceted younger self set within the wondrous worlds of art, artists, mythology, mystery, and history. A heart-touching, melodious reading experience. One I won't forget soon, and will return to long into the future.

—Molly Gaudry, author of We Take Me Apart and Desire: A Haunting


Dean Kostos’s new collection of poems, Broken Color, is absolutely amazing! The book is broken down into five parts, and the title of each is a meaningful color. The first section deals with his youth and its strange reality. Shot through with sadness, his upbringing kicks in immediately. From “Us-ward” he states, “I wade in boyhood’s creek. / Currents reverse.” Later, Kostos writes, “letter / never sent to childhood’s house. / That building is now a scar.” Several times Dean mentions Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, which is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I would say that this painting sums up Kostos’s style perfectly: an underlying realism drenched with a surrealist patina. He also lists a number of artists, including one of my favorites, J. M. W. Turner, but the artist whose work came to mind after I finished this book was Hieronymus Bosch. Totally recommended.

—Ron Kolm, contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine and author of Night Shift


In Broken Color, Dean Kostos takes his cue from the Impressionists, who placed colors onto canvas with discrete brushstrokes. The result is a poetic voice that brings memories and perceptions to the surface in statements rich with color and texture. Kostos uses his painterly sensibility to cover topics such as a difficult childhood, and he brings us along on his more recent travels to seek out influential works of art. He vividly describes American, European and Japanese pieces, and brings them to light, as well as to life. We emerge more complete to have taken these journeys with him.

—Thaddeus Rutkowski, author of Tricks of Light


Paperback: 140 pp.
Publisher: MadHat Press, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-952335-17-4

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