A New Book from Rome by John Wieners, edited by Jim Dunn

My copy of "A New Book from Rome" arrived today. This poetry journal of John Wieners is one of the most precious treasures I've ever had the pleasure of purchasing. So far, I'm loving just the bits and pieces that surround the journal itself, from the tender, thoughtful editing, notes and afterwords to the super nifty pieces of ephemera. I love the collage made by Jim Dunn and John Wieners while they were in none other than my beloved Orono in 2000. (That was my year up there, I tell you. And to have something my favorite poet created there at the same time, it's just COOL, for lack of a better word.)

The only problem I have is that it is such a special book, I'm a afraid of reading and damaging it. I'm terrible with the books I love. You should see the state that "Cultural Affairs in Boston" is in. Hold on, just let me find it some where in the bed...ah yes, mushed between my own poetry notebook, the duvet and a pillow, cover bent back, scribbling in the margins...I think I'm going to have to wear a hazmat suit and read Rome at a pristine desk without tea cups, beer bottles, glasses of water, pepitas and other messy snacks...

Just kidding. I can only give books I love full attention when lounging in the bed and being myself with them.

An excerpt, and an apt one for today, March 16:


He'll never call you.
You'll get nothing.
You'll only be his
Under the spell of an absent kiss

On the avenue or boardwalk.
Oh my the talk
when they realize
there's nothing between you at all.

Isn't it strange
what brings relief
not in the snow or rain
on the memory of his kiss again.

[next page]

I'm under your spell again
there's nothing I can do to help it.
Though I know
you'll never be mine.

The old days are gone.
There's no way to recapture them
on the moonlit avenue
under a sky of blue.

You were part of heaven
just to be near your frame
it's idle to dream of you.
Today is not the same.

I see you moving about the house
happy to be at home,
hoping to hear my phone ring,
knowing it never will.

I'm not sure that there are any copies left. I have 175 of a "strict" 258. But you can, and you should, try: