Junk by Tommy Pico


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...

Details Junk

Release DateMay 8th, 2018
PublisherTin House Books
GenrePoetry, Lgbt, Glbt, Queer, Contemporary

Reviews Junk

  • Michael
    In Junk, a long poem made up of enjambed couplets, Pico grabs his reader’s attention and runs with it. Writing in the stream-of-consciousness mode, using textspeak, Pico embeds musings about love and loss, race and class, trauma and grief, within an expanse of pop cultural references, caustic jokes, and offhand remarks about daily life. The effect of reading the text in part parallels that of scrolling through a Twitter or Tumblr feed: the somb...
  • Rebecca Foster
    (3.5) Junk food, junk shops, junk mail; junk as in random stuff; junk as in genitals. These are the major elements of Pico’s run-on, stream-of-consciousness poem, the third in his Teebs trilogy after Nature Poem. The overarching theme is being a homosexual Native American in Brooklyn. You might think of Pico as a latter-day Ginsberg. The text-speak and sexual explicitness might ordinarily be off-putting for me, but there’s something about Pic...
  • Samantha
    "The battle of control is in learning to make, and giving it up"I love that Tommy Pico's collections exist, if only because they're a great reminder of what poetry can be - punk-rock, meandering, anti-capitalist, pop culture love fests that aren't slaves to a more academic style. There's structure to this book-length poem entirely in couplets, but it's a structure that plays by its own rules, and while I think it's hard to pull this kind of poetr...
  • Emily Polson
    Imagine if Ginsberg's Howl were written by a queer Native American man with a wicked sense of humor. That's Junk, and it is everything. Tommy Pico presents a string of thoughts and anecdotes into one compelling long-form poem made of couplets. One minute I'm laughing at lines like “I’m writing a // sitcom about butts and counting called Number Two The tag- / line is ‘turn the other cheek’” and the next I’m left speechless with others ...
  • Kevin
    A breathless rush of sex, scattershot jokes, and topical anger. Pico weaves it all together like no one else writing right now. If you get a chance to see him read, check it out. He's one of the best I've seen--the emotional shifts, the voices, the unpredictable pacing, etc. More art than slam. More winking than spoonfeeding. He really delivers something fresh and entertains while doing so.
  • Jackie
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - me, reading this entire book, deeply fucked up about it! dark, very funny, very sweet, heart entirely ripped open. one of the most genuine works i’ve read about this time we’re living in.
  • Harper Miller
    Hands down one of the best books I've read this year. Poetry is so my jam. I'd heard about Tommy Pico on Twitter and decided to give his book Junk a go. Talk about a slice of New York. I looooved it! It made me smile. It made me laugh. Hell, there were even parts that made me tear up. This one is definitely going into the favorites pile.
  • Milo
  • Lindsey
    Complicated thoughts about accumulation & value & love & dissociation & class & snax & lust & queerness. We are living in a golden age of poetry & this collection is the precise shade of light filtered through a Funyun & a breakup & a joke about Hart Crane.
  • Michelle Hart
    “Junk is so anti-pretty it’s actually beautiful,” tommy pico sings in this fucking sublime, absurd, ginsburg-esque long-form poem. It's an apt description of the book itself, an unwieldy collection of couplets that follows neither rhyme nor reason but whose every word radiates like radioactive waste, glorious and abject, throwing in the great garbage fire everything from queer dating and eating terrible food to America's atrocious selective...
  • Acacia Ives
  • Hillary
    “Whose grief can piss the furthest”