Rodrigo Toscano

Tankards between palms

‘And palms come into view’
Fair enough place to start

Sensuous as ‘seaside piss’
Epic as Xi Jingping

Yes, this scene works all three
The palms, whizz, chairman Xi

Proceed with ‘weaving palms’
Twirling to western wind

Next, the ‘piddle puddle’
Proudly pooling, seeping

Xi Jingping now awakes
Signs edicts, tracks results

Wait, two tankards ‘in view’
One glides in, one steams out

One half full, one-half void
Salutes? Superfluous! 

Orange sun sliced in half
Effulgent gray halo

Between the palms, tinkling
On the black sun, dwelling

Der Krieg ist gefallen

Mic stand
     by itself

End of Empire
on sale

Heavy chorus
     heaving chords
thrash thrash

Twangy banjo
     steady beat
thrash thrash

The droning
     pleases so
in here

Mic stand
     shy, eager

Chorus imploring
     banjo begging
deep breath––out

Mic stand
     ready, waiting

Torn up leggings
     platform shoes

War’s done died
     sparks in air
night noises


When the Sumerians
            tore through the Americas
there was a lot of confusion
            to say the least

When the Romans
            got thwacked by late Beringians
there was a lot of party
            soon forgot

When the Olmecs
            hooked up with the Phoenicians
a little clarity was carved out
            at the edges

When the Ashanti 
            ousted the Franks
the Saxons freaked the fuck out
            and still do


This person, let’s just say
            ambled aimless
                        among reeds

Suddenly, a flotilla appeared
            warriors in bright dress
                        over calm waters

The sun, having run its course
            revealed a green star
                        barely twinkling

This person, let’s just say
            paused among the reeds
                        squinting at the star

Suddenly, sounds of chomping mud
            revealed footsteps
                        inching closer

The green star overhead
            this person gasped
                        simply vanished

Suddenly, shouts of panic
            gators! gators!
                        a splashing retreat

This person, let’s just say
            scanned the purple sky
                        and spied the star

The moon, running its course
            moved in on the star
                        blink by blink

Suddenly, a red star appeared
            to fluttering sounds
                        of white herons

Reeds bending southwards
            shimmering river wavelets
                        lapping ten toes

This person, let’s just say
            ambled aimless
                        with purpose

Based in New Orleans, Rodrigo Toscano is a poet and dialogist who has authored ten books of poetry. His latest collection is The Charm & The Dread (Fence Books, 2022). His previous books include In Range, Explosion Rocks Springfield, Deck of Deeds, Collapsible Poetics Theater (a National Poetry Series selection), To Leveling Swerve, Platform, Partisans, and The Disparities. He works for the Labor Institute in conjunction with the United Steelworkers, on educational projects that involve environmental and labor justice culture transformation.  @Toscano200

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Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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