Synopses & Reviews
Building on IRL and Nature Poem, Tommy Pico’s Junk is a book-length break-up poem that explores the experience of loss and erasure, both personal and cultural.
The third book in Tommy Pico’s Teebs trilogy, Junk is a breakup poem in couplets: ice floe and hot lava, a tribute to Janet Jackson and nacho cheese. In the static that follows the loss of a job or an apartment or a boyfriend, what can you grab onto for orientation? The narrator wonders what happens to the sense of self when the illusion of security has been stripped away. And for an indigenous person, how do these lost markers of identity echo larger cultural losses and erasures in a changing political landscape? In part taking its cue from A.R. Ammons’s Garbage, Teebs names this liminal space "Junk," in the sense that a junk shop is full of old things waiting for their next use; different items that collectively become indistinct. But can there be a comfort outside the anxiety of utility? An appreciation of "being" for the sake of being? And will there be Chili Cheese Fritos?
"Junk is a true American odyssey, complete with a reluctant hero who defies all odds to survive....This is poetry of the highest order, on the level of a pop song, with the crystalline visions of a seer. I consumed it greedily, repeatedly, and am forever changed because of it." Jenny Zhang, author of SOUR HEART
"Tommy Pico’s complex and lush third collection, Junk, explodes, rewinds, meditates, and explodes again. … Pico is uniquely qualified to both drag and celebrate modern day consumption and indulgence with graceful humor and grit." Morgan Parker, author of THERE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAN BEYONCE
"A visceral exorcism of personal and collective demons… Pico demonstrates that a person’s many selves, traumas, anxieties, hookups, and breakups can become a marker of courage and survival." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Tommy "Teebs" Pico is author of the books IRL (Birds LLC, 2016), Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), and Junk (Tin House Books, 2018). He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural Fellow, Lambda Literary Fellow in poetry, and NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and he's the winner of a Whiting Award and the Brooklyn Public Library's Literature Prize. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub.
Tommy Pico on PowellsBooks.Blog
The Line Hotel in Austin is new. It’s in previews. The restaurant is operated by my favorite winner of Top Chef. The entire city is drinking bottled water. I used bottled water to brush my teeth this morning. I have a craving for a Slurpee. I haven’t had a Slurpee in like seven hundred years. The streets are lousy with Bird scooters and Lime scooters...