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from IRL


Sweat snuffs the body
like fly paper like tight
sweater—will not
evaporate. Somehow
this makes us less
shy. Knowing
we’re both disgusting,
equalizer, like drunk
I finally say the c-
and you say the c-
A shared crush
doesn’t mean pro-
spect, but it does mean
a kind of privacy,
in the sense that it,
the expanse of it,
occurs only
to the self. Crushing
on Muse is compatible
with the Internet
in the sense that
Internet is comprised
of possibility. Like. Book.
Reading revealing what
I’m “really” thinking.
Muse the prospect does
not computer, I mean
compute, like commuting
on a unicycle,
in the sense
that it’s chosen a direction
from which wheels, tracks
branch into reflex
of the imagination,
reverie, a series of
possibilities fill with concrete
it marbles I throw dirt
on his grave n all I want
is to hear him eating
cereal again The allure
of Muse, is shirk.
Like adderall—like cheat code
a prayer that something
will emerge replace the work
required to make love,
or art or peace
or thin or smart
or trill or public
health interventions on NDN
reservations. Muse banks
on fantasy, the thrill
of sassing every moment
like stride through
Neukölln, graffiti parks
of Prenzlaur Berg, huff
the steps of Sacré-Cœur
past the gate chain, the cops
to the jut
the bald part of the park
for the fireworks
we see them miles off
in all directions,
speeding through Cartagena
tempest, V of brown
water like wings, water
slooshing inside when car
door opens, Ron Medellin,
we clay caked mud volcano
halfway to Barranquilla,
poutine-dizzy we stumblr
back to the Mile End flat
on Blvd Saint Joseph O
with the foam bed
we crash into,
cheek print on the glass
walking head-first
like babies carry me
We only ever have 1st
conversations. Shoot
the shit. When I say Muse
tell me about yr
I’m rocking
alone again. Stay insane
sunset on the Seine past
10pm, at the table with
the bottles
in the loud bar
on the Lower East Side.
It doesn’t matter
what we say as long as
we laughing, so all
our teeth
earn their keep.
Anytime heavy,
rum rum along—
thus the point of rum
rumming to the city.


from IRL


My singing
teacher says GO!:
I stand, hands vined
into each other but
is it safer for the voice
to tremolo in Italian
to belt in Mandarin to
clear yr throat in Aramaic?

She blinks. Forget that!
Learn how to get out
of your own way
plays the scales, sings
them, GO!: I miss the beat
The mind is so… photo-
synthetic, you know?

She blinks the Shine when
someone hears you
but’s listenin 2 themself Think low,
(if you have to), ver-
tical, light. Then, don’t
think at all for God’s
I flush like faucets
that don’t shut. The struggle
is real on my t-zone. I’m
friends w/all the coolest
girls They know some-
thing I don’t. I’m a killer
bc of what’s going into
my body n I wonder
if that input, the don’t say
piranhas of don’t say biting
self-criticism will ever
change. That, okay,
that’s cool,
she says.
Conjure a garden. But
you can’t be thought
to sing like Kelly Clark-
Since U Been Gone
blasts thru the sound system
@ Urban Outfitters I try
on black jeans in secret
Don’t tell anyone I’m @
Urban Outfitters, got it?
I’ve a reputation
Like Narragansett—what
a fucking disgusting Naming
it after an NDN nation?
That company is pure scum.
I mean, I’ll have a ‘Gansett bc
that shit’s tasty but I have
the good sense to h8
myself These black jeans
don’t make me feel
like garbage bc I been
running but also I don’t feel
anything from the waist
down bc they’re lay-
down-to-zip-up tight.
Stars are anxious.
What version of yrself
do you see when you
close yr eyes?
pants like new glasses
like new haircut u
walk around like a boss
bird-chested for a day or 2
like everything rights,
then always come back
to you. James is hot,
pinches the neck of his tee
flutters it fast to let air
up into the Man-
hattan of his chest.
Tonight is the 3rd anniversary
of the day Amy Wine-
house died I still
can’t look @ pics of her
w/o crying—what gives?
Or rather, what saves?
Jesus saves, or doesn’t
Art saves, or doesn’t
Money saves, or doesn’t
I’m spent Amy Wine-
house died?
asks James.
I blank blink turn to Boyd they
the gendered they
smoke lotsa weed so we
talk about consciousness’
flowing thru bodies into new
bodies impermanence n
know each other 100 yrs ago.
The thing about they
is resisting knowledge,
a kernel, a mooring “fact”
that “ppl” “need” in order
“to know” “you”—
bouncing off body
and into idea, which I’m
not altogether comfortable
with, existentially, but
discomfort, instability
of terminology, curiosity,
respect, faith, new kinds
of sense, a shape forms
around wisps in the darkness
attracting stars sits next to you—
are the currency of
our exchange. It’s very
star-flung. In college in
the library I leaf madly
thru this cross-indigenous
anthropological survey
that claims extra-gendered
identities for a smattering of
tribes including mine, n I
wonder about two-spirit
traditional roles how
would it have sounded coming
from my grandma instead
of white anthropologist Sit
swaddled in the bean bag  
in the 24 hour reading room
and shake and just Believe.
Whatever Kumeyaay word
for ‘they’ Catholicism erased
assimilationist homophobia
a word I’m not attuned to bc
I’m hearing slap cat scream
thump thump party outside
my window I am the window
of my tribe I lift the house
of Goddess I am a new
ward, draining, bleeding out,
Hello, I sit down.


Tommy “Teebs” Pico is the author of absentMINDR (VERBALVISUAL, 2014)—the first chapbook APP published for iOS mobile/tablet devices—was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, and has poems in BOMB, Guernica, and PANK. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn. @heyteebs