Dean Cocozza About ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ And His Poetry

I don’t see myself serving some bigger purpose in the name of anything here, I just happen to reflect and express myself a certain way and am a creator by nature.”

Social media has shaken up the landscape of entertainment in the last years. And it didn’t leave out any genre of art either. Especially literature and poetry have had its celebrated newcomers, with quotes and writings being shared millions of times over in stories, feeds and mood boards. Spreading the word with a single click. 

Dean Cocozza, age 29, is one of those writers, who saw his quotes exhilarate through the spheres of social media. An unconventional way to popularity, that has led him to selling out his debut book ‘zero dark thirty’ in 2020 – as well of gaining plenty of new opportunities. The feedback has left him relatively unimpressed, although he is very grateful for its perks.

I’m not a social media personality, majority of my work doesn’t find a platform on social media, almost none of my personal life does. But: it allowed me to connect with very interesting people on a new level. I made great connections, both personally and professionally though that. Which definitely helped me being able to do what I love.”

Long before his book release and print publications in magazines like Vogue & V, Cocozza was sharing deep emotional pieces on a platform that, particularly by male users, is often used to showcase rather superficial stereotypical images. But apparently, the artist never thought about what his approach would look like amongst workout-routines, business gurus, and car enthusiasts.

“I don’t think it’s scary to reveal my emotions. For me the scarier part is the feeling of letting go of that expression. Try think of it as publishing a love letter I wrote to somebody special – and then other people can come and claim that love letter for themselves simply by sharing it or interpreting it. Or spit on it with a comment. Does that make sense? For me that part is scarier. But then again, that ‘fear of letting go’ comes with any sort of art. Musicians know that feeling very well too.

Always Deeper, Always More

Dean Cocozza, who preferably works as a writer and composer with visual artists, approaches a lot of his ideas from a cinematic angle. Thinking in images, and dialogues, is natural to him. And never without that urge for something deeper.

I believe there always is more, sometimes it just takes that one little twist on an expression. That one metaphor that hits the spot. And that one person to feel it deeper than the rest, because they understand. French cinema in the 60s and 70s will always be a huge inspiration for me. Something so real, so contemporary, yet timeless and eternal. It’s almost like the aesthetic of an idea.

His debut was a compilation of such depths, and often rather dark ones than upbeat motivational quotes. A stylistic trait, that seems to be part of the ‘aesthetic’ Cocozza is talking about. He previously described the book as a testament to a chapter of his personal life. Further, he explained that he does not want people to assume every writer sees themselves “on a mission”.

I don’t see myself serving some bigger purpose in the name of anything here, I just happen to reflect and express myself a certain way and am a creator by nature. A creator of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, by the way. It’s pretty far from that idea [of a mission], and much more egoistic, to be honest.” Although he adds “but of course it is nice to see that emotional literature and art have a place in this stoic world of social media. We’d really have to be completely in denial of our nature if they wouldn’t”.

When asked about whether there will be another book after ‘zero dark thirty’, Cocozza sounds determined. 

There definitely will. When and in what form, I have to see. I don’t like repetition, and I am working on some other projects at the moment. But there will definitely be another book at some point.

Cocozza asked for some patience when we tried to find out more about those other projects. He had promised a release of composed ambients a while ago, with his writing work seemingly to be more focused on film & poetry. We’re patiently waiting. 


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