Today I happened upon an excerpt from Tommy Pico’s forthcoming poem/book Feed, and I’m weirdly excited about it now.
I can’t claim to be a studious or consistent follower of contemporary poetry, but Pico’s first book IRL jumped out at me a few years ago and since then he’s become one of my favorite contemporary poets. He is writing some of the most fun, funny, irreverent, low-key profound, and casually innovative poetry that I’ve come across, and Feed looks and sounds to be his best work yet.
I say “sounds” because I also found on his website a link to this audio excerpt of Feed that has him reading/reciting what I assume is a big chunk of Feed while simultaneously serving as a sort of audio walking guide to the High Line Gardens in New York City. The way he reads his poem is fantastic, and it makes me want to seek out more such audio recordings / podcasts of him and maybe other poets reading their work if they do it sincerely like this and not in that 90s “poetry reading” cadence I remember so well from high school and college, and probably used myself a few times. (Pico is a genuinely, uniquely great reader of his own work, but hopefully also a lot has just changed for the better since I used to go to poetry readings back in the 90s and 00s.)
I’ve never been to High Line (or anywhere in New York City for that matter) but I have fond feelings for it as the apparent inspiration for one of my family’s favorite picture books, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. I don’t know if it is a stretch, but Brown and Pico seem to be working on some similar themes, though in vastly different formats for different audiences. I mainly just wanted an excuse to put this here and give this book a shout-out, though.