Hidden Harvest

By Rodrigo Toscano Rodrigo Toscano
from a distance
almost festive

rippling in the morning breeze

soft conversations
great piles of scallions

a pungent sun illuminates the faces of young girls

she keeps grabbing them, straightening out their roots and tails

in a little gesture of self-consciousness, she pulls her sweater
away from her face
knocks the dirt off, ties a rubber band around them

Ejido San Quintin

all are packed in ice
and shipped to Great Britian

__________


from a distance
almost restive

rising on the 20th floor

clipped conversations
great piles of papers

a humming fax machine illuminates the faces of young girls

they keep grabbing at her, straightening out her hands and fingers

in a little gesture of self-consciousness, she pulls her sweater
away from her face
lifts it off the paper tray, sticks a sticky on it

Ejido San Quintin

all are packed in ice
and shipped to Great Britian

__________


from a distance
almost resistive

basking in the building’s fluorescent light

algebraic conversations
great piles of direct objects

a deadened emotion illuminates the faces of young girls

he keeps changing them, sorting out the nouns and verbs

in a little gesture of trained-consciousness, he quickly minimizes
the screen from his face
knocks the dirt off, ties a rubber band around them

Ejido San Quintin

all are packed in ice
and shipped to Great Britian

__________


from a distance
almost imperceptive

breezing through the morning frequencies

anxious reservations
great piles of diners

a poetry audience illuminates the faces of young girls

she keeps grabbing them, straightening out their roots and social
whereabouts

in a non-literal gesture of class-consciousness, he pulls her
sweater away from her face
knocks the dirt off, ties a rubber band around them

Ejido San Quintin

all are packed in ice
and shipped to Great Britian

__________


from a distance
almost assertive

shuffling through the evening news

moot conversations
great piles of rotting vegetables

a pungent spin-off literature illuminates the faces of young girls

it keeps grabbing him, chopping up his roots and raison d’êtres

in a tactically abstract solidarizing gesture of class-consciousness,
she peels his self conscious piece away from her face

knocks the dirt off, ties a rubber band around it

Ejido San Quintin

all are packed in ice
and shipped to Great Britian

_________


Ejido: A landholding community owned collectively by its members. In 1992,
the Mexican congress (largely at the behest of Wall Street) passed legislation
aimed at watering-down Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution (guaranteeing
the fundamental economic and cultural rights of the ejidos), opening the way
for the privatization and commercialization of the lands, thus rendering the
peasants’ political gains (stemming from the Mexican Revolution of 1910-
1917) effectively moot.

Rodrigo Toscano, “Hidden Harvest” from Platform. Copyright © 2003 by Rodrigo Toscano.  Reprinted by permission of Atelos.

Source: Platform (Atelos, 2003)

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Poet Rodrigo Toscano

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Activities, Jobs & Working, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality, Class

 Rodrigo  Toscano

Biography

Raised in southern California, experimental poet, playwright, and labor activist Rodrigo Toscano's experimental work often takes the form of conversation and physical movement that interrogates, and crosses, borders: the border between poetic and political action, between the made thing and its making, between speech and theater, between languages, between social change and its provocation. In a 2005 interview with poet Leonard . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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