Gold That Frames the Mirror
Brandon Anthony Melendez
Released April 1, 2019
Orbiting a daisy-chain of fascinations that range from heritage and family to grief, music, and mental illness, these poems want to know what “home” means, even when the answers can seem too blood-bright to bear staring at. Yet do not mistake Melendez for a poet of an uncomplicated sadness: even when he writes of deep loss, there is the possibility of wonder & joy. Drawing from a wellspring of profound bewilderment present in his images as well as how language assumes—or is assumed by—form, Melendez knows poetry, like home, is something we carry with us in our bodies. Every certainty and every wonderment in Gold That Frames the Mirror is come by honestly and with Melendez’s unwavering & tender scrutiny. Here is a book haunted by history but never in service of it. Here is a book that wants to know what comes after elegy, when the gods slink back into their heavens, when we are only left with the names of our dead & the good, dark earth. Melendez offers something like a prayer against overlooking the past & to remember where the gold came from. After all, “Anywhere can become you / once you forget / how you got there."
Brandon Melendez is a Mexican-American poet raised in southern California. Melendez is a National Poetry Slam finalist, Rustbelt Poetry Slam finalist, and two-time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion. He was awarded Best Poem and Funniest Poem at the collegiate poetry slam festival (CUPSI) while representing UC Berkeley. In 2018, Melendez received the Djanikian Scholarship from the Adroit Journal as well as the 2018 Academy of American Poets Award. You can find his poems in journals such as Black Warrior Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, PANK, The Journal, Shenandoah, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. His debut collection titled Gold That Frames the Mirror will be published in 2019 with Write Bloody Publishing. Melendez currently resides in Boston where he is an MFA candidate at Emerson College.