This is the fourth and final book in the Teebs tetralogy. It's an epistolary recipe for the main character, a poem of nourishment, and a jaunty walk through New York's High Line park. Among its questions, Feed asks what's the difference between being alone and being lonely? Can you ever really be friends with an ex? How do you make perfect mac & cheese?
Sentences, scenes, visions fall apart in shreds, and readers follow, immersing ourselves in the maelstrom of Pico’s mind, almost as we might immerse ourselves in earlier book-length masterpieces of broad-gauge anti-narrative poetry by Walt Whitman, or Allen Ginsberg, or Bernadette Mayer ... What sets him apart? For one thing—as with all genuine poets—his style: Pico is always breaking off, beginning again, weaving rhymes into prose with few other patterns. This agitated irregularity lets Pico portray hungers both spiritual and physical, along with his attempts to remedy them by cruising, by writing, by cooking ... almost never feels depressive or despairing or stuck in place: Instead it’s exhilarating, permissive, intimate. Even more than his earlier books—because it’s more varied, jumpier, less consistent—Feed lets sympathetic readers pretend to live, for almost 80 pages, inside Pico’s charismatic, uneasy mind ... We are, at least, together for a moment with this poet in his eclectic and restless confidence, and maybe that togetherness will feed our hearts, though it will not heal our earth.
...while this poem maintains the tone and concludes ongoing themes, it’s the most mature of the poems. Like Teebs, Pico as a writer seems to have grown up. It comes through in the prose. The language has confidence and the loose structure is at once risky and brilliant. It’s nothing new for poets to go rogue when it comes to stanzas and meter—that’s the norm, if anything. But Pico is so intentional and precise; the lines break and enjamb in a way that feels urgent. You just can’t stop reading ... It should be stated that for all the heavy content and ideas found in this book, Pico is hilarious. Plays on words...make the work not only digestible, but relatable ... In his loneliness, Teebs is able to locate his inner-most, true self—he’s found his voice.
Feed may be the weakest entry in what his publisher calls the 'Teebs tetralogy.' Though it’s flawed, and somewhat overly stuffed with motifs, Feed also signals an intriguing shift in Pico’s work. Specifically, to story, scenes, and explicit, intentional structure ... The book feels more rushed than his previous collections, both in terms of its writing and themes ... Where the speaker addresses his loneliness/aloneness in verse works well, when he does so in stylized prose...specifically via weed-fueled, dorm-esque philosophical prose that tends to overstay its welcome. The thing is, Pico’s books—book-length, meandering poems all—tend to work because they’re eminently readable and difficult to put down. The prosey, stoney, spacey sections of Feed—those were easier to put down.