Rodrigo Toscano, "Explosion Rocks Springfield" (Fence Books, 2016)


What is explosion? What does language look like when it mimics a gas leak, a bang, or rubble? What does language look like when it orbits other sounds, mediums, and musicality? How can it then react to and converse with itself? Rodrigo Toscano is a poet who trusts his creative impulse, trusts the place in time, space, and his mind where art is born allows this wave to carry the poet where it will. It is this ceding of will that permits a collection like Explosion Rocks Springfield (Fence Books, 2016) to fully realize itself. How can we better understand how a mid-day, multi-structure gas explosion took no lives? But this is isn't about the explosion that took no lives. This has everything to do with the explosion that took no lives. And everything to do with dialogue, and the cosmos, and ancient civilizations. Interconnectedness is expressed at its most fundamental level. How can we better understand the philosophical impact of each word, each turn of phrase, each image it conjures, and how this language is language? The text casts you out to the furthest reaches of what could possibly be derived, and then reels you back in to "The Friday Evening Gas Explosion in Springfield Leveled a Strip Club Next To a Day Care." This refrain, this text is artifice. After it has pulled you back into itself, it intersects: The Liberty Box checked to spec as did the Libidinal Lines at the Thought Crossers. Strange thing was the Gonad Gauge didn't register the Need Switches. Good Thing the Big O Override tripped the Care Breakers right then. I'm sure that's what kicked the Ego Ventilator, eventually firing up a Poetic Alarm. The Locked Out/Tagged Out American that's the working title. Toscano treats the line as sheet music, elevated beyond communication to artifice. Musicality, philosophy, composition. He pulls from everything in his reach: musical composition, philosophy, ancient history, and anthropology. This book needs to be experienced as an entity. Allow it to register on all levels.

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