Bodie or Bust

March 1, 2010

Poets of Bodie: Cody Todd

Cody Todd is the author of the chapbook, To Frankenstein, My Father (2007, Proem Press). His poems have appeared in Hunger Mountain, the Konundrum Engine Literary Review, Lake Effect, Salt Hill and are forthcoming in the Columbia Review and the Denver Quarterly. He received an MFA from Western Michigan University and is currently a Virginia Middleton Fellow in the PhD program in English-Literature/Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. He is the Managing Editor and co-creator of the poetry journal, The Offending Adam (www.theoffendingadam.com).

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For the project, I envisioned a Caucasian/Chicano mixed male named Santiago (Santee) Hopper. Fleeing notoriety in Fontana for stealing pieces of amusement park structures/city building statues and general ruin (refer to the Chapter Junkyard of Dreams about Fontana in Mike Davis’ City of Quartz), Santee has a Ryder van filled with this crap and is taking it to Bodie because he is convinced that his ego has regressed into a crucible that channels the century-and-a-half-old spirits of various Bodie miners and personae. It would also suffice to say that Santee is a total psychopath with an artistic and ontological vision he adheres to and would probably do more than risk his life for.

As for me, I have been to Bodie once when I was a child, so there is little to remember. I remember an allure to being in an actual “Ghost Town” but upon inhabiting so empty a place, I experienced a powerful dread and wanted to leave it as quickly as possible and never return. I am from Denver and have spent most of my life in Colorado and plan to do much of my critical work at USC on western literature post WW2.

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