John J. Trause

















           Fierce, feathered crotalus Queztalcoatl loves xocolātl

the food of the gods (Theobroma cacao)

Mokaya to Mocha

            heart to heart

                        in humid jungles west of here…

                                    Queztalcoatl, fierce, feathered crotalus,

quaffs cacahuatl

                                                            Olmec, Maya, Aztec

                                                                                                            …bitter are the seeds encased

                                                                                                                        Sacred Heart

                                                                                                This is my body

                                                                                                            This is my blood


                                                                                                            bitter water



xocolātl          xocolātl          xocolātl


Edenic susurration


[Let us observe a moment of silence at the Rome Stock Exchange]



The Eclipse

Danza nera


In bocca al lupo


Edenic susurration


Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.




chicchirichi                  cocorocó                                  κικιρίκου



cocorico                       Kikeriki



kukuryku                                             quiquiriquí






Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.
Il grande Quetzalcoatl dice: ca-cacao.
Il grande Moctezuma dice: co-cocoa.

Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.


Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.

Il grande Quetzalcoatl dice: ca-cacao.
Il grande Moctezuma dice: co-cocoa.


Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.

È la danza nera di Vittoria, ooh!


Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.


Cacao y xocolātl.
Xocolātl y cacao.



The Eclipse

A gift from Piero to Vittoria

















[empty box of chocolates]














Before Noon Tomorrow




La puttana Mara, you did a striptease for me once.  Madonna!

cras                  cras                  cras

                        Tomorrow you do a striptease for me     eternally captured on film prêt-à-porter

seduction for a bit or bite or sip of xocolātl in the eternal city

After all what are little girls made of?

                                                Sugar and spice

And everything nice

Katya loves her chocolates.                The stuff that chocolate dreams are made on:

chocolate and jalapeño





The melting

chocolate palace

of Prince Pondicherry

a Trastevere o sul Gianicolo

as Willie Wonka wanked (puttana - cherry)

sits up the fudge mountain inside the factory up there

as Willie Wonka woke, wanked, and walked way up where

one sees the Chocolate River of (Caesar) Augustus Gloop and the Oompa-Loompas

and Anna Magnani yells at Federico Fellini to leave her alone, to go home, to get out of here.

Did the Domus Transitoria too melt in the great fire?  I too have seen the Colosseum cast in chocolate.


amore e Roma


amore e aroma a Roma



Pontifex Maximus

Des pontifes païens aux pontifes chrétiens

Genevieve’s Home Made Chocolates of Garfield, New Jersey, United States of America, presented Pope John Paul II with chocolates from their shop (Papieskie czekoladki) on his pontifical visit to New Jersey in October 1995.


A tale in the Iguvine Tablets, as if inscribed on milk chocolate panels, predicts that the lupa Capitolina will be the ancestor of the lupo di Gubbio.



Pot number one of the Duenos inscription kernos

(righted to left)




b. iouesāt deivos qoi mēd mitāt, nei tēd endō cosmis vircō siēd


c. Iurat deos qui me mittit, ni [erga te] comis virgo sit


d. ‘The person who sends me prays to the gods, lest the girl be not kind towards thee’





Lamb of God

Dolly the Sheep [her/she] (July 5, 1996 – February 14, 2003) had three mothers.



Human Cloning Is Underway in Italy



JANUARY 31, 2002 / 8:41 AM / CBS


A scientific and social uproar is not slowing an attempt to clone a human being. In Rome, Italy, this morning, the project leader spoke of the narrowed field of candidates in line to produce the first cloned baby.

Italian fertility specialist Dr. Severino Antinori confirmed today in Rome that he would go ahead with attempts to clone a human being. Antinori previously created a sensation when he used standard techniques to allow a 62-year-old woman to have a baby. Now, he says, hundreds of infertile couples--"who want to become father and mother, to create a new human life," says Antinori--have asked him to produce a cloned baby.

Antinori--who is collaborating with fertility specialist Panos Zavos, who is from Lexington, Kentucky--plans to implant the DNA from an adult's cell into a stripped-down egg from a woman.












Chocolate for the Seven Hills                                                                                    Basilica di Santa Maria


in Cosmedin la Bocca della Verità                      O                          to tell the truth I long for…


Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte                          chocolate lambs [Hershey] for Easter            


caffè mocha on the Via Veneto                           moccacino   cacahuatl   xocolātl


The chocolate skull                                           of Saint Valentine in the


Basilica di Santa Maria                                                       in Cosmedin


the Sacred Heart of Dolly                                                   dead on Saint Valentine’s Day



a chocolate Easter egg


Send me a box of chocolates for my little girl.


Night, porter.  See you tomorrow.

John J. Trause
132 Hackensack Street
Wood-Ridge, NJ 07075

Monday, March 20, 2017

Richard Linklater
1901 East 51st Street
Austin, TX 78723

Dear Mr. Linklater,

I am just writing, not as an ordinary fan, but with an idea for a possible future film you may consider making. I just bought for my home library the Criterion Collection of your Before Trilogy, and it has been a pleasure seeing these films again and the extra material on the three DVDs. I have enjoyed all your films for years.

If you are considering a fourth film in the Before series, I would like to propose Before Noon, to be set in Rome, Italy. I like the significance of Before Sunrise set in Vienna (neurosis, mysticism), Before Sunset set in Paris (birth of Modernism), and Before Midnight set in Greece (Classicism). Rome, the Eternal City, would be a great place to continue the series. Now in their 50s, Jesse and Céline could wake up and experience a real-time drama played out before “high noon”, rekindling their love and passion with Céline performing a striptease like Mara (Sophia Loren) in Vittorio de Sica’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Ieri, oggi, domani, 1963), reprised by Sophia Loren as Isabella de la Fontaine in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear, 1994). This is just a thought.

I should provide an introduction. I am the Director of the Oradell Public Library in Bergen County, New Jersey, very close to Manhattan, New York, and I am one of the moderators of the Library’s IFC Film Club, “IFC” standing for Independent * Foreign * Classic. Last month we had a lively discussion of your Dazed and Confused, clearly a contemporary classic.

I am also a poet, writer, and performer with a number of books out. In fact, tonight, the Friends of the Library are holding a reception for my latest book, Picture This: For Your Eyes and Ears (Loveland, Ohio : Dos Madres Press, 2016), a collection of poems on art, photography, film, and art history. One project that I have been working on for about thirteen years (I procrastinate on literary projects) is a series of poems on the Italian nougat candy torrone; every year for Christmas my Italian aunt gives me a box or two, and one year, years ago, the box had six different flavors of torrone, each with a flavor associated with a city in Italy: Lemons : Naples; Almonds : Venice; Coffee: Florence; Hazelnuts : Milan; Coconuts : Pisa; and Chocolate : Rome. I have written a sequence of introductory poems and the first four flavor/city poems and had them published in anthologies and journals. I am at work on “Coconuts” and ruminating on “Chocolate”. Both seem daunting. Anyhow, in the arrangement of the poems for a future book, I play off among other conceits de Sica’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Ieri, oggi, domani).

I would love to meet you one day; for now, please accept my humble suggestion.


John J. Trause

John J. Trause

John J. Trause, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of Why Sing? (Sensitive Skin Press, 2017), a book of traditional and experimental poems; Picture This: For Your Eyes and Ears (Dos Madres Press, 2016), a book of poems on art, film, and photography; Exercises in High Treason (great weather for MEDIA, 2016), a book of fictive translations, found poems, and manipulated texts; Eye Candy for Andy (13 Most Beautiful… Poems for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Finishing Line Press, 2013); Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round (Nirala Publications, 2012); Seriously Serial (Poets Wear Prada, 2007; rev. ed. 2014); and Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996), the latter staged Off Broadway. His translations, poetry, and visual work appear internationally in many journals and anthologies, including Otoliths, BlazeVOX, The Antioch Review; the artists’ periodical Crossings; the Dada journal Maintenant; the journal Offerta Speciale; the Great Weather for Media anthologies It’s Animal but Merciful (2012), I Let Go of the Stars in My Hand (2014), and Birds Fall Silent in the Mechanical Sea (2019); and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books, 2015). Marymark Press has published his visual poetry and art as broadsides and sheets. He is the subject of a 30-on-30-in-30 essay on The Operating System, written by Don Zirilli, and an author of an essay on Baroness Elsa at the same site, both in April 2016. He has shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, Karen Finley, Andrei Codrescu, and Jerome Rothenberg; the page with Billy Collins, Lita Hornick, William Carlos Williams, Woody Allen, Ted Kooser, Victor Buono, and Pope John Paul II; and the cage with the Cumaean Sibyl, Ezra Pound, Hannibal Lecter, Andrei Chikatilo, and George “The Animal” Steele. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series.

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