In Todd Melicker’s remarkable debut collection, rendezvous, the reader finds lines that join, converse, and split apart so completely that at times they literally flip, becoming distorted reflections of their own initial utterance. These are poems troubled by adoration and desire, evolution, and the spiraling of the mind immersed in measurement and inquiry. In quick succession we move from the differences between “more sun” and “same sun” to the abundance of the “floodworld/worried” and the strict limitations of “these daily tasks.” Melicker writes—of love, of meeting, of the sun’s slow revolution, and of return—in ways that keep these poems circling through the reader’s mind. “i’m coming aware of the whole, what” he discloses, and “that all parts/ belong.”
“Todd Melicker’s rendezvous shapes itself as a series of creation stories. In the process of forming and naming, he enacts intimacies that are at the heart of creation, for Melicker comprehends a tenderness not immediate to the rest of us, derived, as we are ‘from the/given up/divine etcetera.’ His deeper perception causes imagination and formal assurance (which suffuse this book) to fall away like ‘seedship or boathusk’ before ‘the living arrival’ of recognition. So we meet and so we are dispelled ‘where the first half we believe/ & the second half believes us.'” —Elizabeth Robinson
“A rendezvous is typically between two people, in one case, say, between poet and listener, the poem and the one who has come so gratefully to read Todd Melicker’s long awaited first book. A rendezvous is charged, full of potentiality and longing … Like Creeley, Melicker is a poet of rooms, of domesticity and day. In Melicker’s rooms there is great disharmony, so harmoniously clustered. When we wake in these rooms, we can ask, just what is day? What is the lyric? In the rendezvous Melicker has so importunely invited us to, fantastic moments arise sudden as love and its psychic upheavals—’the astronaut steps from his cul-de-sac of fluid oxygen.’ Something new seems to be going on with the abstract lyric here, in the exacting music of Melicker’s work, where ‘the room is broken/and we live in it.’ How bracing to have such a trusting guide as Melicker, since ‘to swallow/light there is/no needle like me.'” —Gillian Conoley
“Todd Melicker’s rendezvous is a charged and beautifully uneasy meeting—something primal off a new ark, of Eve and what’s his name, of Adam and what’s her name. Our attention is directed to the forces and pivots at play, as if the world were being made (currently) angle by angle, word by word. Haunted by science and math, there is some kind of evolutionary imperative at work, as if humans too (those ‘reanimals’) were also in the process of being made. Ever attended by the birds in their watchfulness—voyagers between realms—Melicker’s elegantly controlled lyricism carries the ache and arc of sentience, of verses becoming voices in the shimmer.” —Aaron Shurin
Todd Melicker daily wanders the streets of Petaluma, CA, gathering data as a GPS technician. He is the author of the chapbooks day collects (Woodland Editions), the immaculate autopsy (Achiote Press), and king & queen (LRL Textile Editions). rendezvous (Rescue Press, 2013) is his first full-length collection. Recently, he was managing editor of VOLT and his work has appeared in Ambush Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and New American Writing.