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Description

Poetry. Native American Studies. LGBT Studies. IRL is a sweaty, summertime poem composed like a long text message, rooted in the epic tradition of A.R. Ammons, ancient Kumeyaay Bird Songs, and Beyoncé's visual albums. It follows Teebs, a reservation-born, queer NDN weirdo, trying to figure out his impulses/desires/history in the midst of Brooklyn rooftops, privacy in the age of the Internet, street harassment, suicide, boys boys boys, literature, colonialism, religion, leaving one's 20s, and a love/hate relationship with English. He's plagued by an indecision, unsure of which obsessions, attractions, and impulses are essentially his, and which are the result of Christian conversion, hetero- patriarchal/colonialist white supremacy, homophobia, Bacardi, gummy candy, and not getting laid.

IRL asks, what happens to a modern, queer indigenous person a few generations after his ancestors were alienated from their language, their religion, and their history? Teebs feels compelled towards "boys, burgers, booze," though he begins to suspect there is perhaps a more ancient goddess calling to him behind art, behind music, behind poetry.

"Pico's brilliant, funny, and musical book-length debut...channel[s] a rush of Internet slang and emoticons, run-on ramblings and sentence fragments, and poppy lyrical bursts...Pico's skillful rendering of Teeb's coming-of-age attempts to create a cohesive identity out of his many selves proves to be entertaining, enlightening, and utterly relatable in the age of the smartphone."—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Tommy Pico's epic poem is sad and funny and honest and wickedly clever with rhymes and rhythms. It is an utterly original aboriginal look at the world. I love it."—Sherman Alexie

 

Author: Tommy Pico
Publisher: Birds, LLC
Pages: 98pp
Size: 5.75 x 8.75
Notes: paperback
Release Date: September 1, 2016
ISBN:  978-0991429868