Todd's years of nomadic house-sitting resulted in Someday the Plan of a Town, his fourth poetry collection from W. W. Norton & Co., releasing January 2022, now available for pre-order on Amazon.
Reeling from marital, parental, and societal losses, Todd risked everything to be at peace with the world, in a journey that took him all the way around it.
The poems conjure Spanish dust, English rain, French moss, Australian seacoast, Arizona cliffs, and Hungarian light, ringing all the while with timeless humor and wisdom. As much a commentary on modern-day America as a personal history replete with grief, Someday the Plan of a Town is a sensual, intellectual, and arrestingly musical map of one nomadic troubadour’s journey to self.
The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with small-town map illustrations by Canadian printmaker Pamela Gerbrandt.
Todd's catalog of enchantments opens with the book's title poem:
Someday the Plan of a Town
—right down to its sidetracks and back
alleyways—will match—or so goes
the dream—with some identical patch
of neural network your rogue thoughts
roam in—overlay it like those musculo-
skeletal transparencies with which
anatomy textbooks come bound—and
you’ll be at home in its dogleg jointwork
of cobbled kinks—and your body will
resound at every fork, tuning-fork-like—
and every road you ever rambled will be
re-scrambled to appear to have brought
you here where you fit so perfectly, where
you can practically predict where to find
every bench or postbox, and where you
can cue every little old lady who leaves
her flat to buy bread—as if she were
locking up a little room in your head
and trading your idea of money for your
idea of food before returning to wipe
her shoes on the mat your mind’s laid flat
and fit her flat key to its shoulder into
the strike plate keyhole through which you
daily romance her as she grows older—
that worn, dome-topped slot that looks
as if two question marks met on the road
to kiss and mate and make one question
opening, opening—each forever the
other’s only answer.
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An epic global migration, caused largely by climate change but exacerbated by fear-driven socioeconomic policymaking, will characterize the coming century. We are soon to become a planet of nomads, trading the known for the unknown, increasingly dependent upon one another, forced to content ourselves with less.