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Tommy Pico

September 8, 2011

Tommy Pico

Tommy Pico is the founder/editor/publisher of birdsong. Published bi-annually, birdsong is a lovingly hand-sewn and silk screened zine featuring cutting edge poetry and prose from a vibrant community of writers and artists. Tommy is a founder, with like-minded co-conspirators in Brooklyn, of the feminist, antiracist, queer-positive Birdsong Collective. The Collective is committed to the DIY ethos, encourages collaboration between writers, artists, and musicians, and helps promote working artists through an ongoing workshop and regular free readings around New York.

This year Tommy is an inaugural fellow of the Queer|Art|Mentorship program, and is crafting his first collection of prose and poetry. We cant wait!

1. What is your hometown?

The Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation, east of San Diego

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Amy Winehouse, the one from “Back to Black” or maybe from “Valerie.”

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

James Franco. He’d come over to study me and we’d fuck a lot. I think he’d be very thorough.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

I’ll probably know in a year what speaks to me now, but at one time it was the song “Garbadge Man” by Hole.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I just finished Ken Chen’s “Juvenilia”, it won last year’s Yale Younger Poets competition and deservedly so. I keep thinking about the line, “He has seen me and become real, as though a ghost could die into a man.” I want to write like that.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing are good for writing.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I don’t remember but I always cry at movies. I’m also always scared, always laughing and always surprised at the end. I just go with them.

8.  Cat person or dog person?


9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

You can make it the same thing, depends on the delivery. Assuming they are different though, I’d go with kindness.

10.    How do you define sin?

Something people made up to make me feel bad about myself.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Crosswind in a muggy apartment.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I’m not sure I’d have to check with my mom, but I think this is bad luck… But I’d like it to be in Garamond.

the Birdsong Collective

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