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, Glbt, Queer, Lgbt

Reviews Junk

  • Michael
    My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.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 te...
  • Rebecca
    (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...
  • 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 ...
  • Anita
    oftentimes i say things like 'im garbage' and/or 'im trash' and/or 'why am i stupid' and this book is that but he says it and he's proud of his abjection and this is the type of Junk-ie (HA) that i guess i can only aspire to be (Top Grade Trash!)check"I suppose Junk is also a way of not letting go—containing the stasis We cd potentially be alive our whole life How to be Junk and decisive I have this way of saying “bus” so that it rhymes wit...
  • Kye
    I really love Tommy. It’s so refreshing to enjoy “poetry” again! I didn’t like this as much as Nature Poem or IRL but I still loved it. I know it’s annoying to compare artists to those before them, but I instantly loved tommy’s writing because it reads like a current day, gay beat poet but with less alcohol and drugs and more anal sex and texting.
  • C. Varn
    Pico's Teebs trilogy of book-length poems concludes with Junk, a paean to a break-up and to all that one loves that may not be entirely good for you. Pico's style here has changed: he uses longer lines than in his other two b00k-length poems made up of highly enjambed couplets. Pico maintains the stream-of-consciousness writing mixing textspeak, slang, and his general manic lyricism, but the change in the form actually does affect the reading. Ju...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Lauren
    Content is great as always but I really didn’t like the couplet-style structure of this as compared to his earlier works.
  • 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.
  • Siobhan
    Omg wow wow wow just wow wow wow
  • Milo
  • pinarnar
    I want to read this again for the first time forever.
  • Nicole
    Well I absolutely adored Nature Poem (it was one of my favorite collections last year), but unfortunately this one did not live up to my expectations. It felt way more unfocused and the structure here (couplets) didn’t work for me.
  • 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.
  • Hillary
    “Whose grief can piss the furthest”
  • Jared Levine
    Idk. Nature poem was better than this. And IRL was better than that. Seemed like a bunch of the same tricks but with less affect. To me. Rated it a three but only because Tommy is a favorite of mine.
  • Acacia Ives
  • Jaime Fountaine
    We probably do not deserve Tommy Pico, and JUNK is further proof of this.
  • Lisa
    A few good lines but it mostly felt like stream of consciousness ramblings that went all over the place.
  • 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...
  • Rachel Becerra
    When my friend and I were at the central library she said that this book was good and I made an earnest joke but tbh I am sure I sounded sarcastic and I said is it about junk? And to this moment I am not even sure if I meant genitals or junk food or things that are not quite trash but have no value either. It turns out this book is a little about all those things and so much more. This writer is amazing! He makes you lol at times and feel deep fe...
  • Erik
    Tommy Pico has uncanny ability to put the minds of his readers on the pages before their eyes, and "Junk," his third book of poems in as many years, is no exception.Junk as the question about what it means that we collect all this junk, eat all this junk, date all this junk, love all this junk, and in asking this question Pico delves deeply into the inner trenches of human experiences - and particularly queer human experiences - in the 21 century...
  • Joseph Crupper
    There is so much to unpack.I enjoyed the conversation that the speaker’s relationship issues and national issues are having with each other.This is one of those things I’d love to read again and again, and that’s what makes a poem great for me. I’m able to get something out of it every time.The speaker talks about their frustration with gay men a lot, it borders on being homophobic. I identify with it as a fellow queer man who finds himse...
  • Brendan
    I appreciate the modern vibe and the decent quantity of interesting lines. But the gimmicky aspects of his writing style and the identity politics are too annoying to get a rec from me. There's this belief that only some bodies are worthy of desire and the others don't even exist- p. 11Your love is about as relevant as chewed gum under the table I just flipped- p. 41There are far too many beauties who think they're trash too many dipshits who thi...
  • Candace
    Favourite lines:“I thot falling in love was a burden A kind of crowding on my landscape Love creates space, dummy Doesn’t take it up”“Someone wd drive home and say who’s that at the mailbox You would suck your teeth and say Bee Sting n them and you generally don’t want to be one of them, but if needed, if someone was messin with you at school They n them burned with intimidation Thems wd literally fight all yr battles for you”“Tha...
  • freewayflowr
    So conflicted about rating this trilogy (IRL, Nature Poem and Junk), because it's obviously important and of quality. I wish I could give it a 3,8 or something, because the style makes it not easily read at all, and all the references I didn't get made me feel like I was missing the point, which is too bad.
  • Charlie
    Tommy Pico continues to be the poet for the internet generation, the T.S. Eliot of Tinder, and Junk is a bit freer in form and interest than Nature Poem was, but so far all of his work is cut from the same cloth, necessary and challenging and a lot of fun to read.