A Poem by Rodrigo Toscano



a read n’ shout poem

Voice 1, regular size font (medium volume, brisk); Voice 2-5, all caps (high volume,
ultra committed (“theatric”) affect.

Voices 2-5, in attendance (as spectators) in the reading space; they sit apart from each
other, in back, in front, in the middle; they fast-insert their words/phrases into voice 1’s

All readers decide beforehand as to which word/phrase will be shouted by whom.


People participated in it pretty cleanly—though unaware, but when you look at them you know there’s something ELSE.

All directors should be tied up and made to squeal out their latest vision of how—
approximately, they add FLAVOR to their UTOPIA time-scape.

Misdemeanor to leave a super solid political POEM in the drawer.

Ride, ride, just let’er ride, but then get OFF the horsey of culture. For a moment.

What happened? REALLY? at that moment.

Well, in New York, nothing “happens” AGAIN? of curse.

It’s time for a BUD light. I can’t feel my way to this (LIKE A TOTAL CAD)—histoire— elementaire.

JUMP, you mean, bounce, bro…all I do, sis, is slip…into the (SPOKEN like a laid off ROOSTER AT DAWN) CRRRAAAAFFT—of poesy.

When FULL THROTTLE SHAME beclouds your fuzzy memory of “cool” (freak)

Grand Larceny to not regard POOR, you heard me, poor, poor, poor people around you, poor! not you, more—much more—poor, many times—more—poor, richly endowed
with NADA, RIEN, NICHTS, bastantemente muy poco, no?

All employees of all sexes are pregnant with CAPITALIST POO BABIES about to
arrive—let’s calculate, next 48 hours?

In Southern Calisfuckia things happen. People miss the thin civilized laser delivery of SCHEISSE FIDUCIARY BANTER…politely…and it gets put to verse.

What’s happening? The HAPPENINGS, didn’t figure in the sly calculus of the comm-
OH-ditty, that’s clear.

But William Howe did foresee the advent of the comm-OH-ditty, as to why he’s talking
air hockey poetics—again (orchestral shoe shuffle, right on).

Talk air hockey, Big Bill, OK.

It’s time for a STIMULUS package…in the arts…too.

Friendly warning from the security hub of the local poetic precinct to call WHITE CAKE WITH COCONUT FLAKES on this…incrementalist, impulse revolucionaire.

But I take baby steps too, toward the GLOBULAR world, five jivers here
notwithstanding, but withstanding LA VERITÉ.

In Santiago, Chile, I have friends who’ll attest to this LEGITIMATE REACTION to my immediate unstable context, a simple nod by my colleagues—TON amie, NOUS amie, MON amie, NON amie—is helpful.

Performance of Exchanges 2009 at U. of Ohio (Miami), 4-3-2009


Rodrigo Toscano Rodrigo Toscano

Rodrigo Toscano latest book is Collapsible Poetics Theater (Fence Books; a National Poetry Series 2007 selection). He is also the author of To Leveling Swerve (Kruspkaya Book), Platform (Atelos), The Disparities (Green Integer) and Partisans (O Books). His poetry has appeared Best American Poetry 2004, War and Peace (2004 & 2007), and in the Criminal's Cabinet: An anthology of poetry and fiction (2004), and in McSweeny’s Poets Picking Poets. He was a 2005 recipient of a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. Toscano is also the artistic director and writer for the Collapsible Poetics Theater (CPT). His polyvocalic pieces, poetics plays, and body-movement poems, have been performed at the Disney Redcat Theater in Los Angeles, Ontological-Hysteric Poet’s Theater Festival, Poet’s Theater Jamboree 2007, and the Yockadot Poetics Theater Festival. His radio pieces have appeared on WPIX FM (New York), KAOS Public Radio Olympia, WNYU, and PS.1 Radio. His work has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Catalonian. Toscano is originally from Southern California. He works in Manhattan at the Labor Institute, and lives in Brooklyn.

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