The Zone

Rodrigo Toscano


can choose to be
or re-join “Columbia”
in Westphalian 1648
state’s sovereignty treaty
legacy modality
or join the Triple Alliance
“Canada” “U.S.” “Mexico”
administrative zone
which is a way to say
why “Honduras” now
in this day and age
the region’s growing hotter
and hotter crops failing
narcos dominating
new generations which is
a way of saying
“Haiti” at breaking point
won’t work as is
folks shriveling there in
zero to scant industry
in need of flotilla
organized and administered
millions out and into
The Zone as with “Guatemala”
sub-administered by
administered “Mexico”
work the pipelines
thousands of aqueducts
water to and fro
like Louisiana rain
to California
Jalisceño blue tequila
to Peoria and Winnipeg
steady work fair work
in The Zone no need
for hideous face tattoos
and special ops
not to mention
failed “Canadian”
nor “American” poets
touting Westphalian
liberal-democratic horizons
cloaked as ‘democratic socialism’
socialism – is para-national
at the end of the day
tribal lands allow pipelines
of water to flow
across vast territories
while new train tracks
get laid down eagerly
not self-driving trucks
belching Co2 and resentment
haulin’ veggies and granma
back to town this town
your town’s local admin’s
intensely responsive
tempered by Northern Zone
general imperatives
takes the wind out of
tiki torch supremacist
carnivals and ‘anti-racist’
corporate peddlers in
permanent Westphalian
mode of inclusion into
neoliberal tribalism of
the 1% (actually less)
with same cheery tale
again and again
“American” poets
mute servants to system
quilting idealisms
into patchwork of
safe-spaced silos
border enforcement
at the end of the day
genre and expectation like
is this a legit poem
about “Panama”
or ‘global warming’
or the truculence of
sub-sub Westphalian
fatigued nationalism
pickin’ and pokin’ at
every nook and cranny
of instrumental nostalgic
Best American____
Best Canadian____
Best Mexican____
empirical mass ornament
gray verses sung to
scratchy music score of
b-movie for inter
(Westphalian) nationalism’s
finance driven identities
plus sub-sub identities
dragooned by
Anarcho-Tyranny as
that is the deal
before the establishment
and careful conducting of
The Zone




Rodrigo Toscano is a poet and essayist based in New Orleans. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including his latest book The Charm & The Dread (Fence Books, 2021). His website is 

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