National Poetry Month Day 27: Tommy Pico

By

 

 

 

from Feed

 

Dear Reader,

I’m going to keep this short
and sweet bc I am tall and BITTER:

Day 69 of tour.

the MARTA. the Marc. the MAX.

Portland Oregon is a bunch of white ppl in a brew pub whose name is two random nouns like Sage & Mortar or Whimsy + Pickles or Straw and Freddy Krueger Glove Expectant
faces expecting
me
to smile back. I don’t do that.
Portland Maine, the other white Portland, is a bunch of full leg pants and poly pan-
sexuals

There’s a kind of stability
There’s a kind of stability
There’s a kind of stability
being so thoroughly stage I mean Teebs I mean seen
A sly calm, indulging the part of you that stays when the rest hides or hurricanes away onstage. Another tug of skin on my skin, firming everything in place

The heat. The bubble, bubble infuses Get ready
for a dead horse:

Infuse: cause to penetrate. To introduce as if by pouring. Instill. To imbue or inspire. To steep or soak (leaves, bark, root, etc.) in liquid so as to extract the soluble properties or ingredients. Late middle English past participle of infundere, to pour into. In: verb formative prefix. Used to indicate inclusion. Fuse: tube, cord, or the like filled or saturated with combustible matter, for igniting an explosive. To melt under heat caused by excess current, thereby opening the circuit. To combine or blend by melting together. To become united or blended. From the Latin fusus—melted, poured, cast. As in the walls are high

Alaska Air. MetroLink. MTS. BC Ferries.

and hard to climb until the temp turns up
and we’re flush with each other, Dear Reader.  As far as I’m concerned
when it gets this hot, pant legs and sleeves are a hate
crime Rich and Willie and Chase twalk
about the Proud Boys stalking up Cap Hill in Seattle 70 strong twice
the size
they were last year
before the terracotta slob slithered their truth

“Not to fight” Chase says intones
they’re mostly non-violent frat
boys just trying to

disrupt

the

community

TTC. STM. A Streetcar Named I’m Tired.

and I feel like a back slash runneth thru me Blood leaking from uncooked meat
Not like Palestine-protest-Jerusalem-embassy massacre
or in Pakistan where the journalists “disappeared”
or Mogadishu bustling city center bombs or ICE

losing thousands of migrant kids at every
turn targeting target
rash explosion of ticks nearing Lyme season again targeting churches
Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Cities
and the bombs
and the bombs
and the bombs
fly over state drones fly over other countries

and the lol “president”
says “we” “tamed” “the” “continent”
and “we” “aren’t” “apologizing”
“for” “America”
and murdered and missing indigenous women
never
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
ever
get an article a shout out or a headline
but that white crisis actor lady who advocates for police brutality got water splashed
in her face at a brunch spot Or the mouthpiece to the regime getting denied service at a Red Hen or staffers “bummed out” at their treatment in public
—to outcry—
and it’s like idk
if I’m ever here double you-tee-eff

The ancient Egyptians used to worship cats.
And now?
They’re dead.


Tommy “Teebs” Pico is author of the books IRL (Birds, LLC, 2016), winner of the 2017 Brooklyn Library Literary Prize and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Nature Poem (Tin House Books, 2017), winner of a 2018 American Book Award and finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award, Junk (Tin House Books, 2018), Feed (forthcoming 2019 from Tin House Books), and the zine series Hey, Teebs. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that published art and writing from 2008–2013. He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, was awarded the 2017 Friends of Literature prize from the Poetry Foundation, won a 2018 Whiting Award, and he’s been profiled in Time Out New York, the New York Times, and the New Yorker. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now splits his time between Los Angeles and Brooklyn. He co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker at the Ace Hotel, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. Find him on Twitter @heyteebs. More from this author →