- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Tommy Pico
- Publish Date: 2017-05-09
Most Anticipated Book of 2017 at Publishers Weekly, BuzzFeed, and more.
A book-length poem about how an American Indian writer canât bring himself to write about nature, but is forced to reckon with colonial-white stereotypes, manifest destiny, and his own identity as an young, queer, urban-dwelling poet.
ÂNature Poem follows Teebsâa young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poetâwho canât bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. Heâd slap a tree across the face. Heâd rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; heâd rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. While heâs adamantâbratty, evenâabout his distaste for the word ânatural,â over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the ânatural world,â he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.