Rodrigo Toscano Deck of Deeds

ISBN 13: 9781933996318

Deck of Deeds

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Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. DECK OF DEEDS is comprised of seventy poetic prose image captions (sans images) whose titles are inspired by the popular Latin American loteria card game. Written by a poet who logs in an average of ten thousand miles of air travel each month working as a union trainer and coordinator throughout the U.S., the "cards" reflect a dizzying array of cultural-geographic locations, each one acting as a scene-setter for highly dystopian portraits of "people" caught in a tangle of industry-specific "predicaments."

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About the Author:

Rodrigo Toscano's latest books are DECK OF DEEDS (Counterpath Press, 2012) and COLLAPSIBLE POETICS THEATER (Fence Books, 2008). His poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry, and in McSweeny's "Poets Picking Poets." He was a 2005 recipient of a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. Toscano is also the artistic director and writer for the Collapsible Poetics Theater (CPT). Toscano has worked in labor politics and environmental justice movements for over fifteen years.

Review:

Toscano s political satire composes its dramatis personae from a throng of refugees, drug addicts, collaborators, financiers, servants, sociolinguists, combatants, psychologists, colleagues, spies, and authors. The major and minor arcana in the divinatory art of our immediate future, they betray the dirty secret that our Republic of Letters is no sanctuary from the celebrity narcissism and predatory conduct of global finance capital. In these mordant portraits, Toscano takes no prisoners, aiming equally at motivational vocabularists and lawmakers drunk on ready-made anti-immigrant rhetoric, as well as trust-fund poets whose class-erasing alibis fuel the culture s bogus meritocracy. --Roberto Tejada

Sparkly dark disco energy fracked out the back of a vision of individual agency spawned and stunted by the specialist bureaucracies of capital. Backroom politics, business travel, particle physics are cross-extracted here in mini-fables, jargons recharging jargons. An American-values flipbook, or a realism themepark that keeps bubble-nucleating itself in the tax loophole, the black hole, the motel bar, the soft lipid origin of life. Deck of Deeds catalogues our most secret value valves. --Cathy Wagner

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