Rodrigo Toscano

This shade-casting magnolia’s 

               getting involved

with your breathing

Or is it better put

               was always involved

with your breathing

This shade-casting magnolia 

               is oblivious to 

poetic encirclement

Or is it better put 

               becoming aware of

escape routes


You’re reading about colonialism, again?

You’re writing about material entanglement?

You’re vocalizing Empire’s crack up, again?


Shaded and shading magnolias 

               maybe like twenty

after hard rain

               make a point

at midday 

The sun 

               quacking on

about “technique”

This not being Kabul

               this being Kabul

after all 


R  a  d  i  a  t  i  v  e 




New Grammar 



               moist and steamy

vanishing from the scene


that is, dragooned 

               to the task 

and hating it 


About the Author

Rodrigo Toscano is the author of eleven books of poetry. His latest two books are The Cut Point (Counterpath, 2023) and The Charm & The Dread (Fence, 2022). His Collapsible Poetics Theater was a National Poetry Series selection. His work has appeared Best American Poetry and Best American Poetry.


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