Rodrigo Toscano on North Korea & Maggie

We at PoemTalk know one poet who can both humorously and dead-seriously bring Kim Jong-il, Montezuma and Maggie Thatcher — and us — together to the table. It’s Rodrigo Toscano, of course, and more specifically the Rodrigo Toscano who wrote the poems collected in the book Platform. The word “platform,” Al Filreis noted in this 17th PoemTalk episode (released May 2009), suggests something programmatic, something being contended overall. And one plank, as it were, of this platform is — for Toscano — the relatively light (comic, playful, quick) poem “Poetics,” suggesting an aesthetic program, maybe even an ars poetica. Taking this titular cue, the PoemTalkers for episode 17, Randall Couch, Linh Dinh, and Emily Abendroth, sought to piece together the ranging geo-political references. Do please go here and have another listen, now that Maggie Thatcher and North Korea are back in the news.