You know how some days you write or mince around or lean on the bar at yr fave watering hole and yr like I AM A GOLDEN GOD, and some days you write or mince around or lean on the bar at yr fave watering hole and yr like I AM GUTTER GARBAGE like not even garbage used as a prop in a photoshoot, but like garbage that has become one with itself?

Last weekend was the reading in the garden in the East Village where I read the first ten minutes of my summer long poem, IRL, and for the few days beforehand I was in a very I AM GUTTER GARBAGE mood re: writing.

Curated by stephenboyer, the reading (SUMMER NIGHTS ON JUPITER) featured Wo Chan, myself, arianareines, and Pamela Sneed. I was really excited going into it bc Pamela is my mentor, Ariana was basically the person who crowbar’d me out of the writers block I’d wedged myself into last fall, and Wo Chan is a poetry fellow at Lambda Lit this summer, a title I had the opportunity to hold last year.  

Wo was a mad uncanny performer, Ariana’s urgent delivery is something I aspire to (plus she read one of my favorite poems “Dream House”), & Pam… laid me out, as she always does. Her work literally steals the air from you, replacing it with pure tears. AND she dedicated her last poem to me @_@

As if reading alongside them wasn’t encouraging enough, the audience response to IRL was overwhelming. Perfect strangers and perfect friends alike were so freakin throttlingly into the poem, Ariana and Pamela among them. Seeing your mentors as colleagues, well closer to colleagues lets b real they r still leaps ahead of me, is a magical feeling.

Also, when yr working on something alone every day that is kind of unlike anything you’ve ever done before, and you have forward momentum but no perspective, and you have an idea but no real clue what yr doing—it’s really easy to feel like the work is w/o value, or worth, or merit. I mean, it’s really easy to feel like that regardless. Last weekend was just what I needed to pull myself out of GUTTER GARBAGE mode and closer to THIS IS ACTUALLY OKAY which is pretty much where I want to stay. Smooches!

photo cred to nickcomilla mauddeitch and stephenboyer

IRL part XX

Is this ad relevant to you?
We would like to enhance
your ad watching ex-
perience. Yr a garbage
person if you can’t
take a good photo
is the underlying mess-
age of “gay” “culture”
in Brooklyn. I hate
having my picture taken
I say to this photo-
grapher at this party
bc every damn party
has to be photographed
otherwise it doesn’t happen
and bc the parties
are so boring if ppl
weren’t posing
there would b nothing
to do but drink. I’m an old
man yelling at a cloud It’s
too loud for convos
n they don’t let you dance
in the city. He says oh
come on I say calmly
No. n he asks (bc I
know him from around
after living in this fault
line 10 yrs) is this
an Indian thing? Like do u
think it steals yr soul
or something?
I want to crumple
him up in the palm
of my hand But I
guess it is a NDN
thing in the sense that
I’m NDN n doing
this thing. It’s like
not being able to stare
into the sun for too
long but kind of the
opposite—swarthy black lens
crystallizes the uncertainty
within.
Is this good, or bad
is a sentence in a fight
n I hate confrontation.
Why do I have to take
sides? Switzerland has
the strictest privacy laws
on the planet, and I
have the flyest tank
tops in America. Some-
how I feel good about
my shapely legs.
In Kumeyaay
there’s a concept for in-
between. Not knowing
how to smile, how you look
bent over a book, waking
up on either coast
feels the exact same some-
times you wake up
not knowing how old
you are n if Johnny
is down the hall in
a robe makin eggs. Future
leaders were wooshed away
from the tribe in a sort of
boreal way to feel
the greater world, stone
hills etc this was back
in the day.
This concept of in-between
is like gangbusters
for Muse. It’s like cat-
nip to Muse it’s throb
of light in-between
the 2 of us Just the 2 
of us, you n I. I rub Muse
my neck I’m clenching
my jaw for like 20 mins
waiting for this damn
photog to take damn
pic This concept in between
Kumeyaay and Brooklyn—
that it has a word
even if the word is lost
even if it doesn’t exist
even if I’m lyin to you
is breath tethering, opens throb
of light inside me. I
don’t have to worry
about keeping my God
alive by keeping her name
secret bc the name for her
is gone, and with
it, my God I never got to
know her, but strangely
sometimes when I’m cry
laughing at that scene
in Steel Magnolias or
I can’t sing the part in
the Beyonce song @
karaoke where the music
gets all soft and I try
to sing baby, kiss me
but Maud has to take
over bc the feeling stroboscope
blooms bigger than my voice n
I think I see my God
‘s shadow walking down a hall-
way but like I said I lost
my voice n don’t know
her name maybe it’s
Wa’ashi or Pemu
this clairaudient says
to me apropos of nothing
but I’ll never know 4
sure so I can’t call out keep
chasing swirling smoke rounding
in a glass jar
n then I’m like, crying
at a Beyonce song
r u kidding me Teebs get
it together bitch James
is finally following me
back on Insta so I take a
somewhat risque
selfie send it private
message n right after
say OOOPS! omg I
meant to send that
to someone else gosh
so embarrassed oops!
and he responds w/
a pic of his computer
screen his phone #
typed on it so we
text n he’s like
come over n I’m like
do u have A/C he says
Yes n I just straight up
drop the mic n leave.

from red doc> by Anne Carson

"HE WAS FOURTEEN
it was years ago and Sad’s
name wasn’t Sad yet. First
comet. G had just
stumbled off a bus they
looked at one another and
that lasted until G was
almost twenty but he.
Well. Being a loyal soul
himself. Sad’s need to
make friends everywhere.
Sex friends club friends
gym friends dope friends
shopping friends
breakdown friends a
common enough problem. 
Sad didn’t see a problem.
One day he looked around
and G was gone. The
farewell erased and
rewritten so many times it
tore through the paper.”

Tomorrow night at Le Petit Versailles, a community garden on the border of the East Village and the Lower East Side, I’ll be reading alongside Wo Chan, Ariana Reines, and Pamela Sneed for Stephen Boyer’s “Summer Nights on Jupiter” reading series.

I’m really excited to hear Wo’s stuff—plus they’ll be a Lambda Lit fellow in Poetry this summer, which was my summer gig last year. Lambda Family! Or heh, Lambily, if you will. Mariah didn’t tm that shit, did she?

Also Ariana and Pamela have had arguably the biggest impact on my writing process, the way I read and experience poetry/art, and perform my work/inhabit my voice. At discreet periods in my writing life, they gave me guidance, permission, and encouragement. I would not be on the path I am now without them, so being on the same bill is quite literally a dream come true.

I’ll be reading from the first 10 or so minutes of my long poem summer project, IRL—a poem about crushing vs. loving, online vs. IRL, rez life vs. city life, New York vs. California, thought vs. language, privacy vs. secrecy, “fantasy” vs. “reality,” and what happens when the language you love & wrap yourself in feels like an impostor? When yr indigenous language has been stolen, and your religion along with it, how do you experience god/goddess? How do you reclaim faith? Can art be a satisfying surrogate?    

Piqued? Come see! Tomorrow night, 7pm—Le Petit Versailles—346 E. Houston st. @ Ave C—BE ABOUT IT

Tommy Pico's Tattoos: A Tour - [PANK]

A few weeks back I was interviewed by the lovely Julie Hart for [PANK] Magazine, about writing and my poetry app and tattoos and stuff. It went up today—check it out!

I’m so freaking excited to announce that two of my poems, “Extra Skin” and “We Constantly Avoid Saying What We Mean” (plus mp3s of my readings) are in the summer edition of Codex Journal! Codex is an admirably innovative space for writing—the first original smart phone poetry journal on the planet—and as someone with a poetry app and general interest in poetry & new media, the implications of this format get yr boi buzzin. Check it out online, or you can scan the QR barcode to get it directly on yr smart phone (download a QR reader app then take a pic of the code). I knooooooooooooow, right?!?!

Poetry Mixtape #5

More monday more poems, right? Here is the Poetry Mixtape #5, n above collage by the real chanteuse, Jess Paps 

1. I Don’t Even by Alexander Chee alexanderchee

  • "what would it take for you to really give up on someone?/I wrote this in my journal about 7 years ago/I give up on the journal more than I give up on other people"

2. I May After Leaving You Walk Quickly or Even Run by Matthea Harvey

  • "when I said did you want me/I meant me in the general sense"

3. “Any fool can get into an ocean…" by Jack Spicer

  • "but it takes a Goddess/to get out of one"

4. Time Expanding the Air Forcibly by Sam Ross samcharlesross

  • "I held the cold aperture-ring with my fingers/and pressed the shutter gently enough,/trusting to the chemicals on cold film/and the tenets of sympathetic magic."

5. G-9 by Tim Dlugos

  • "When I pass,/who’ll remember, who will care/about these joys and wonders?"

6. Vulnerability Study by Solmaz Sharif 

  • "a wall cleared of nails/for the ghosts to walk through"

7. Green Hills by Kay Ryan

  • "the languor of their/rolling over"

8. THINGS PEOPLE SAID ABOUT ME & MY WORK ON THE INTERNET THIS WEEK by Lara Weibgen 

  • "go to hell" "shrew" "do I have to rape someone?"

9. Kristen Wiig reads from Touch Me, poems by Suzanne Somers

  • "if anyone has any extra love, even a heartbeat or a touch or two—I wish they wouldn’t waste it on dogs"

10. The Blue Dress in Mother’s Closet by Saeed Jones theferocity

  • "my mother is a moon out to sea"