Rodrigo Toscano



a lightly staged dialogue for two players

{B mimes at being pulled over by cop, nervous, skittish; A “cop” walks up from behind wearing shades, aggressive, zealous}

A: The lord can—give you a will, for the right search.

B: I twitch, jerk, and quake—as a prime example—of that search.

A: The lord looks for prime examples.

B: The lord is hereby offered one.

A: Self-recognition, the cognate in common?

B: We’ve got an understanding—me, you, the lord.

A: Weep not says the lord, for—

B: —a well-lent will, can more easily skim, him? 

A: The lord’s cognition has spoken.

B: The lord seeks exactness?

{A pulls B from car and puts B’s hands on the hood}

A: Awake—from yourself.  Shark teaser in a cage—have exactitude!

B: The lord twitches, jerks, and quakes—I didn’t think so, until now.

A:  I offer myself, as proof.

B: People from cities all over, unable to analyze it—guilt-free, come to—

A: —fight? Amen!

B: Amen.

A: The lord, the pimp, the people, the product, the pump of this culture readied (a stainless steel ring to pull in an emergency)

B: Amen.

A: A platinum collar, cold on contact, sometimes bliss, around the neck.

B: Pull, then twist, so that the hidden holiday is revealed: Katrina Day.

A: The food pantry of X the Lord’s Sanctuary—is inviting.

B: Chew on this, profit.

A: Nylon straps, snug as the lord’s words tethering the lord’s—

B: Independent Contracting Schemes (a toddler seat at the table)

{A flings B to the ground into spread eagle position}

A: Amen. Let’s be exact! There’s art for profits, art for non-profits (to profit by), and altogether unprofitable arts. 

B: Quantum. Sociology. My fifty golden calves—at granny hipster’s.

A: A small slab of anthracite for the nephew, an ornate cape—just for the hell of it, a hockey mask for a stroll through the mall, a 500 mega watt pulsed rhodamine laser in hand—etc.

B: You. Proud product of some kind of network. I think the lord’s self-pimping abilities—are on the increase.

A: Average poetry readings reveal much.

B: I improve…when the content is based on some other kind of—contract.

A: Respect for The Lord! Respect for Cable Coppersmooth, Cinnamon Face, and all verifiable accomplishments, in tow.

B: The local is pushed out. Amen?

A: Amen! This re-flavoring of certain…distinctions. Other bitterness’ applied lightly to the rippled surface. Property mud bars for the whole family!

B: Audit the flow—incoming. Admit the lord. You were about to This Very Moaning In Private Seems Necessary. What’s the immediate effect?

A: Piety, double-digit snide, “bilk bilk”.  

B: What’s the immediate goal?

A: Light up the mall.

B: And the lonely shark around the cage?

A: Amen. The people are—poking back—at it.  

end of dialogue


Discutiendo lo discutible, lo discutible directa su discusión a lo indiscutible.

Lo indiscutible se esconde en la charla del día para aparecer—discutible.

Esta conversación <guión> gran búsqueda <guión> alegata clásica <guión> burbujeo en una esquina de la galaxia, lo deja a uno (vergonzosamente) “interesado.”


Nos va dar entender este autor que le interesa: luchas ideológicas terrestiales, métodos no genéricos de comunicación, lecturas de poesía, gente extraña sin razón alguna de estar maullando en pleno día, y el misterio del silencio ensordecedor circundante. 

“No hay que reinventar la rueda ya rodano,” nos exige el autor, “ni hay que acuchillar un lápiz filosófico en la manzana de la historia pudriéndose…hay—existen instantes—donde la poseía se sobre estima al momento exacto que se ha rendido.”


Ahora le pedimos al poema (transmitiendo en vivo) que salga de atras de su cortina.

Salga, por favor.


“Gracias, bienvenidos. Disfruten o rechacen este momento—me da igual. Atrapas de los siglos no me he callado el locico por nadie. Notenlo. Gracias.

Los dejo con dos versos (incluso prosaicos):

La espera de energías alternativas, sostenibles—ha terminado.

La espera de explicaciones de modos de comunicación entre extraterrestres

—sigue y sigue.

Discutanlo. Poeticen. Maúllen.”

Nueva York, Mayo, 2006



“Espero salir”

dice el atrapado

en un tubo

1, 000 metros


en la tierra


“Espero unir”

dice el desgarrado

entre dos familias

1, 000 gestos, muecas, y payasadas


por necesidad


“Espero joder”

dice el poeta

entre dos pueblos

1, 000 gestos, muecas, y diplomacias


en casa


“Espero desnudar…”

dice el desesperado

“lo cultural”

1, 000 metros sobre la tierra


lo geo-confundible

“Espero disimular”

dice el bizcuernudo

1, 000 veces mas ensayado

que el punto cero cero uno

improvisado, acumulando



“Espero convencer”

dice el esforzado

1, 000 vueltas, arranques, paradas

desimanando autoridad




3 Pieces


Rodrigo Toscano is the author of To Leveling Swerve, Platform, The Disparities, and Partisans.  His newest book, Collapsible Poetics Theater, was a National Poetry Series 2007 winner. It will be published in 2008 by Fence 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, Links Hall Chicago, 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.