In the riveting fourth installment of Pico’s imaginative tetralogy, food, music, sex, and the void serve as means to reveal and dissect the speaker’s interior life. Stepping outside of his alter ego persona, Teebs, to wonder about the possibility of a “true self,” Pico resists the obvious narrative and claims that Teebs, perhaps, is more real than himself. The speaker declares himself a “recipe” made of the ingredients of his past and his family, defined by the intergenerational trauma of Native American genocide and displacement. His Native identity is both an albatross and an amulet of protection: “My spirits surround me like a cloud of disapproving aunties, keeping most of you at bay.” Amid the purposeful cacophony and confusion the poet throws at the reader, exacerbated by a lack of punctuation and erratic changes in line length, there are moments of stunning beauty: “What a better time than in the face/ of spring and the spring/ ephemerals—a bloom/ so/ short/ it puts the fleet in ‘fleeting feeling.’ ” Readers familiar with Pico’s work will find continuity from previous volumes; the poet’s present concerns and ongoing obsessions are proffered in a seemingly stream-of-consciousness format that is actually meticulously well-organized. New readers, as well, can easily dive in. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 07/11/2019 Release date: 11/05/2019 Genre: Poetry
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