NW: The poems are all in English except for one in Spanish, with a translated version. What is the piece in Spanish doing there? What about its translation into English? What do you want readers to be thinking about language? 

RT: In that piece, what I am trying to do is shed a bright light on the specifics of English syntax. First there’s a Spanish piece that’s very brief, a rendering of somebody at a union hall, shushing up fellow co-workers, trying to get his/her take on last night’s incident—the explosion. Later, in another instance the English “version” is a translation of the Spanish one, but without me straightening out the syntax. I keep the syntax of Spanish but use English words. The intended effect is to keep readers/listeners from internally dozing off, thinking that what they’re hearing is “meaning”, rather than a making of meaning. I do all sorts of things to keep spectators on their toes. I do this too, to keep me on my toes. If I get complacent, then it’s all over for the poem, or book, or reading, in terms of keeping it vital.

From an interview with Rodrigo Toscano at Puerto del Sol.

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