Nature Poem by Tommy Pico

Nature Poem

Nature Poem follows Teebs—a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet—who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He’d slap a tree across the face. He’d rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about...

Title:Nature Poem
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1941040632
Number of Pages:128 pages

Nature Poem Reviews

  • Jim

    An entertaining and thought-provoking rumination on a world running out of uses for nature. Pico brings together disparate entities to underscore the absurdity of the way we live now.

  • Rebecca Foster

    Tommy “Teebs” Pico is a Native American from the Kumeyaay nation and grew up on the Viejas Indian reservation. This funny, sexy, politically aware multi-part poem was written as a collective rebuttal to the kind of line he often gets in gay bars, something along the lines of ‘oh, you’re an Indian poet, so you must write about nature?’

    : Pico’s comfort zone is the urban, the pop cultural, and the technologically up-to-date – his poems are full of textspeak (“yr,” “bc” for becaus

    Tommy “Teebs” Pico is a Native American from the Kumeyaay nation and grew up on the Viejas Indian reservation. This funny, sexy, politically aware multi-part poem was written as a collective rebuttal to the kind of line he often gets in gay bars, something along the lines of ‘oh, you’re an Indian poet, so you must write about nature?’

    : Pico’s comfort zone is the urban, the pop cultural, and the technologically up-to-date – his poems are full of textspeak (“yr,” “bc” for because, “rn” for right now, “NDN” for Indian), an affectation that would ordinarily bother me but that I tolerated here because of Pico’s irrepressible sass: “I wd give a wedgie to a sacred mountain and gladly piss on the grass of / the park of poetic form / while no one’s lookin.”

    Releases May 9th.

  • Antonio Paola

    Tommy Pico has written one of those book-length poems that seems to cover so many current and historical events, but is written in smartphone lingo, that you will want to read it again (and again). I love Tin House Books; My two favorite hip and intelligent modern day poets are published by them. Morgan Parker is the other poet.

  • Will

    Ugh, Tommy Pico does it again. He has an incredible gift for writing heartwarming and hilarious poems that also make sure to remind you that we live in an oppressive system that is slowly crushing us all. How can someone write prose that is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking? PM me if you ever figure it out. In the meantime, read Nature Poem. Read IRL. Read every interview with Tommy Pico. Listen to his podcast Food4Thot. He's my role model. Bai.

  • Rayna  (Poindextrix)

    And now I have to buy a copy so I can reread it whenever I want. Library copy needs to go back so I can share the love.

  • Erica

    Oh, this was so damn good...

  • Dallas Swindell

    Seeking a path to and from history without the reductionism of otherness or the platitudes of expected discourse, Tommy Pico once again settles Teebs (himself on the page) at the intersection of identity and community. Central to the poem is Teebs' drive not to be forced into a traditional nature poem, yet at the same time finding and extricating the deep set connections of modern life to history, human nature, and the earth.

    This process of bringing to light that which existent society attempts

    Seeking a path to and from history without the reductionism of otherness or the platitudes of expected discourse, Tommy Pico once again settles Teebs (himself on the page) at the intersection of identity and community. Central to the poem is Teebs' drive not to be forced into a traditional nature poem, yet at the same time finding and extricating the deep set connections of modern life to history, human nature, and the earth.

    This process of bringing to light that which existent society attempts to brush over gives Nature Poem a sense of urgent relevance and vitality that Pico deftly wields throughout its pages. Nature Poem is the reclaimed process of meaning making, links are forged in chains which can only be broken through the will of the narrator, Teebs. The forging and breaking is a matter of knowledge "or its approximate artifice, [it] is a kind of equilibrium". An often disheartening process of shifting the tides of that balance, not so much to make things equal as to force the status quo away from those who prosper in its ignorance.

    In the end Teebs finds himself still communing with nature, but a nature more distributed and realistic to the world beyond his history. The lineage of the Nature poem is mirrored by the lineage of his ancestors. He paradoxically wants both respective forms of his lineage to catch up to the life that could be, while also wishing for the communal sense of belonging that the present day (cities, politics, internet culture and dating, and the myriad forms of marginalization he faces) denies him, and that he often found while growing up.

    Nature Poem is a refreshing and often searing crucible through which the the merits of both possible lives and existing realities are weighed. Pico has an amazing voice and drive within his work and Nature Poem showcases it brilliantly.

  • C.E. G

    4.5 stars - Tommy Pico is one of my new faves. From the inside book flap: "

    follows Teebs - a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet - who can't bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature... While he's adamant - bratty even - about his dis

    4.5 stars - Tommy Pico is one of my new faves. From the inside book flap: "

    follows Teebs - a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet - who can't bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature... While he's adamant - bratty even - about his distaste for the word "natural," over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the "natural world," he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush."

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