Rodrigo Toscano's Balm To Bilk (a poem for two voices) riffs and rhymes its way through a playful discourse on language, politics, and the aesthetics of the poem. An excerpt:
exactement. when they blurt, we brandish
when they brandish, we blurt.
on the level of aesthetics you mean?
yes. but how do you pare the imperialist
from the imperialist aesthetic,
and the imperialist aesthetic
from the imperialist?
not an easy 'formula' as you say.
RODRIGO TOSCANO is a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry. He is the author of To Leveling Swerve (Krupskaya Books, 2004), Platform (Atelos, 2003), The Disparities (Green Integer, 2002) and Partisans (O Books, 1999). His work has recently appeared in Best American Poetry, 2004 (Scribner) and War and Peace (O Books, 2004) and In the Criminal's Cabinet: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction. He lives in New York City.