The Cut Point


The trashmen do come
            and that’s a miracle
on top of the marvel of
            home water heaters
and central air cooling

Your whole life
            is brained up
by designs of others
            alongside others
executing plans

This density
            of intentions
is the world
            you navigate
even in sleep

There’s a Grand Rebellion
            against this world
taking many forms
            one such one is
lyric poetry

These failed rebellions
            deepen the myths
we tell ourselves
            about ourselves
in kooky ways

Why’s everything become
rejoinder on rejoinder
            this ceaseless
chatty inflation

The trashmen know
            the cut point
AC repair crews know
            the cut point
some poets maybe

The density is we
            the needle to cloth
is we and surely
            the rivet to plate
is Zoon Politikon

The ‘likes’ and ‘follows’
            do come
dressed as miracles
            vaguely intentional
fizzling fast

Behold (is an old word
            meant to—behold
what’s beholden
            to something
say, this tub faucet)

The density
            of intention here
calls up legions of
            poetic actors
pushing limits

The water that flows
            is a cut point
the pipes that held it
            are cut points
the dam, the dials

But what about clouds
            have we rebelled
against wily whisperings
            are clouds merely 

No matter, the trashmen
            have arrived
on top of the marvel of
            a no. 2 pencil
tracking the point

Rodrigo Toscano is a poet and dialogist based in New Orleans. He is the author of eleven books of poetry. His poetry has appeared in over 20 anthologies, including Best American Poetry and Best American Experimental Poetry (BAX). His Collapsible Poetics Theater was a National Poetry Series selection. He received a 2023 International Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention for The Charm & The Dread (Fence, 2022). He works for the Labor Institute in conjunction with the United Steelworkers and the National Institute for Environmental Health Science on educational training projects that involve environmental and labor justice culture transformation. rodrigotoscano.com  @Toscano200