Explosion Rocks Springfield
Author: Rodrigo Toscano
Publisher: Fence Books (2016)
The book is made of 80 iterations of the following line: The Friday evening gas explosion in Springfield leveled a strip club next to a day care. Its fugal structure effects content-density, tension, and return. Continual re-figuration of all themata creates a pleasurable engagement with a material transparency that is neither prepackaged (“found”) nor fancied from thing air (“inspired”).
“How often can it be said that a book of poetry is 'gripping'? How often does one make you feel, as Dickinson put it, that the top of your head has been taken off? This book is/does that. It’s a rhythmic, percussive interrogation of the first sentence of a news article: “ …gas explosion…leveled a strip club next to a day care center.” This explosion brings a lot of unexpected questions to light: 'Why do people strip?' 'Is fire itself in the act of stripping?' And, of course, 'What is to ‘plode?' Toscano’s new work ex and implodes into the stringent sense and nonsense of the present moment.”
“Now, I feel like I want to say that now we can really get together. Try to figure out what it is to plode. I always hear a double shout in Rodrigo Toscano, A call, which here takes the form of questioning, and does all kinda rudecool things with it, and us answering with delighted apprehension, waiting for some more of the edge and height that’s happening to us right here, here and now. Shard presence. Barbed pleasure. Getting together, given in and as corrosion, with interrogative trap set accents, a leveler’s investigation of leveling, crunked revelry never punked out. This new music, spun out of the general matter-of-fact disaster, is new social logic. Newsflash: Explosion Rocks Springfield.”
“Antonin Artaud once wrote, 'Poetry is a dissociating and anarchic force which through analogy, associations and imagery, thrives on the destruction of known relationships' which seems to describe the work of Rodrigo Toscano. In his latest collection, Explosion Rocks Springfield, an instance of a strip club next to a day center atomizes out into an astute consideration of aftermath, fate, and echo. Toscano’s latest is an impressionistic and vernacular reportage of the frontlines of labor and the infinite lexicons that construct them. I am always thrilled to read this a book from the maestro-critic of market spectacle.”
–Carmen Giménez Smith