Thomas McColl. Listen Softly London, $14 (78p) ISBN: 978-0993535307
In his book of poems Being With Me Will Help You Learn, Thomas McColl plunges head first into a strange world that seems so much like our own yet entirely nuanced. The title itself is slightly foreboding, as if what we, as readers, are about the read will change us in some profound way, some way that will fundamentally change the way we perceive and react to things in our lives. McColl uses cunning and smart language to create these quasi-worlds that mirror our own. He does this, all the while lacing his poems with dark humor. It’s a kind of make-believe that isn’t quite made up.
Many of McColl’s poems read satirical. Among these poems is “A Warning to All EC Pedestrians” where a simple practice of walking across the street turns into a humorous yet sinister act. McColl uses this sense of parallelism to change the dynamic between cars and pedestrians. He writes,
Pedestrians planning to cross the road
must have, as standard,
an air bag beneath their clothes
which will blow up on impact.