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The Book of Goodbyes

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The Book of Goodbyes

By: Jillian Weise

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“These fierce, hip, heartbreaking love poems call out to a lover who can’t be lived with or without. They’re humorous, odd, and full of all the unreasonable truth of love. This book is the real thing.” —Publishers Weekly

The Los Angeles Times described Jillian Weise’s debut poetry collection as “a fearless dissection of the taboo and the hidden.” In her Isabella Gardner Poetry Award-winning second collection, Weise chronicles an affair with a man she names “Big Logos.” These poems throw into question sex, the law, identity, sentiment and power, shifting between lyric and narrative, hyper-realism and magical realism, fact and fiction.

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"...A smart and savvy ode to absences—of a lover, of a self, and of a part of the self, literal and figurative …Throughout, Weise’s masterfully balanced voice transforms even unique intricacies of her experience into a way to relate to—not alienate—the reader. This is a brilliant book ultimately about connection.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"In a world where subway cars are filled with passengers staring at tiny screens, where to like something you click something, we are lucky to have Jillian Weise's new book of poems to take to bed, to take on the bus, to sneak into our pacified English Lit curriculum. The Book of Goodbyes is a narrative, lyric, modern, mash-up of our experience on earth.”
Matthew Dickman, author of All-American Poem and Mayakovsky's Revolver

"The Book of Goodbyes
is in effect a Book of Eternal Returns. The poems lead us through our minute daily-life distractions with a matter-of-fact candor that expands the dimensions of intimacy available to us. Ultimately, the Goodbye itself is the muse here – to leave a thing, an idea, a person, a way of life that limits your own being – and to sing for the process of leaving. Weise helps us understand that when we say goodbye, we leave something in the past as much as in the future—this book is a beautiful lesson in how to do exactly that, and in how the humbleness of doing so is in fact heroic.”
—Harmony Holiday, author of Negro League Baseball



The last time I saw Big Logos he was walking
to the Quantum Physics Store to buy magnets. 
He told me his intentions.  He was wearing

a jumpsuit with frayed cuffs. I thought the cuffs
got that way from him rubbing them against
his lips but he said they got that way

with age.  We had two more blocks to walk. 
“Once I do this, what are you going to do?”
he asked.  “I wish you wouldn’t do it,” I said.

Big Logos bought the magnets and a crane
delivered them to his house. After he built
the 900-megahertz superconductor, I couldn’t go

to his house anymore because I have all kinds
of metal in my body.  I think if you love someone,
you shouldn’t do that, build something like that,

on purpose, right in front of them.


Jillian Weise—an above-the-knee amputee with a computerized prosthetic—identifies as a cyborg and has discussed the identity in essays for The New York Times and Drunken Boat. Her books include The Amputee’s Guide to Sex (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and The Colony (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press, 2010). She is an Assistant Professor at Clemson University, and a contributing editor at The South Carolina Review.


The Amputee's Guide to Sex
The Colony

Additional Information

Authors Jillian Weise
Edition Paperback
ISBN 9781938160141
Publish Date September 10, 2013

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