NONFICTION

Junk

Tin House. May 2018. 80p. ISBN 9781941040973. pap. $15.95. POETRY
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OrangeReviewStarReplete with street talk, this third book in a trilogy (followingNature Poem and IRL) is a stream-of-consciousness riff on junk and all its meanings, continuing to explore Pico's character Teebs in what could be a love poem or a break-up poem or both. It's written in couplets as one long poem, racing forward because Pico uses little punctuation, which gives readers little chance to rest. Whether the result is a meditation for the modern gay man or a manifesto on the treatment of Native Americans and the disenfranchised, junk becomes a character, along with Janet Jackson, Shonda Rhimes and Cindy Crawford. Junk could be detritus or something worthless or male genitalia. Or is "Junk: a relief map of yr traumas"? Maybe it's "the space between utility." Or "to remove Junk is an upgrade Poverty is like this:/ you keep everything until the wheels fall off and then you eat/ the wheels." In the end, Pico says, "Junk is letting go…Junk finds a new boo…We lie quiet in the buff, not touchin."
VERDICT An ambitious and impressive work, using visceral language, that will appeal to a wide range of readers.

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