“James Wells has given himself a colossal task. Bicycle straddles and somehow sings in a great chorus of, and sometimes with, provincial America, Roman and Greek literature and culture, ancient and modern—Virgil and Fellini, Greek joints and Revelation, a touch of geology, Zohar, Jesus. Love songs and much more. Read and hold on tight.” (Stanley Moss)
From the Back Cover
James Bradley Wells's volume of poems is a meditation through Midwestern rural settings. Guiding him is biblical and classical story. We hear a skilled wordsmith's Frostian meditation as he bicycles about his Promised Land, Canaan and Vergilian terrains, and pedals around a family Missouri farm, an Indiana or Kentucky backyard, New York's Upper West Side, and the Rome studio of Fellini's Satyricon
. We overhear talk about his grandfather's land projects and Vergil's Eclogues
, tune in to Marsilio Ficino's astrology determining our medical "humors," and glimpse the medieval Cloud of Unknowing
. Throughout this carefully constructed romp, on bike or not, Wells is close to the land, his deep companion. As the poet rambles through mystic vision and reveals farm and tombstone incident, there lives the cry of the skeptic philosopher poet Lucretius. An astonishing achievement.
--Willis Barnstone, author of The Gnostic Bible, The Restored New Testament, and Stickball on 88th Street