Queer actor Nico Tortorella just released a 256-page book of poetry entitled all of it is you. in which he lays his imagination and soul bare. His largely autobiographical (and at times surprisingly confessional) poems reveal the pain of being a recovering alcoholic, the freedom of his sexual fluidity and the struggles of a young, famous artist dabbling in drugs and sex. The book of Nico Tortorella poetry also contains a poem about his “circumcised” and “average” penis, but (all tea, no shade) it’s one of his less impressive pieces.
True to the book’s description, the handful of Nico Tortorella poetry we’ve seen from the book illustrate the actor’s palpable feelings of “love, wonder and endless curiosity.” His pieces ponder the curious nature of gender, society’s need to label unfamiliar things, the astrological “Saturn Return” on his soon-approaching 30th birthday and his relationship to both the male and female sex organs.
In one of his stronger sample poems, titled “them.,” Tortorella explores how pronouns inadequately express the multitudes inside us:
Despite their playfulness, some of his poems indulge in cliché and heavy-handed morals in a way that could’ve withstood more editing.
It’s obvious — as he states in a later poem entitled “identity.” — that he struggles with his being a celebrity, a “player of words” and an activist. Tortorella knows his fame will bring this book an immediate audience, and some of its work succumbs to the pressure of clearly delivering a social message of respect, even as his explorations yearn for a messier, less moralistic freedom.
In one of his stronger poems, entitled “addiction.,” Tortorella lets the sensory details of a morning hangover reveal the deeper pains keeping a person chained to alcoholism.
While it’s fun to see a young celebrity play around with voice and the lyrical form, all of it is you. will likely prove most popular amongst Tortorella’s fans, who’ll surely appreciate this glimpse into his mind and his willingness to start larger discussions on identity, society and alienation.
Here are three other poems from the Nico Tortorella poetry book all of it is you.