Most poetry books should come in waterproof editions for my preferred reading nook. So to another in the series of my ‘bubble reads’ Thomas McColl’s, Being With Me Will Help You Learn is a meaty book of observations that starts off with a mind twister. A clever play on words to warm up the room with the poem, I. This starter smirks through itself, name drops the biggies and gives us a glimpse of his style, intelligence and humour to come. Moving through this collection is a polite sarcasm. I see his streets that ride through the lines, the windows he peers in, his friends, family and dreams. I’m usually wired to enjoy poetry that lets go of its manners more. So I perk up when he delves into finding his anger, enjoying his spleen via Noise Nazi, his darker passages “screaming at the cold, cruel world that made him go insane” in Chip Shop Aquarium. Tom’s amusing imagination, feather tickles its way through the everyday, giving it a good old ponder. Work, gambling, nose picking, fame, the simplicity of watching a girl at the bus stop. This is what Thomas chats about and he has a unique perspective, that packs punch when observing socially unjust circumstances like in The Chalk Fairy. His target, homelessness and “London’s one big crime scene every single day of the year”. Self effacing, we get to hear about first times, first jobs, first lust. His thoughts on his working life is a scream, his poem Self Discovery gets my biggest giggle. Overall, an eclectic style, often tongue in cheek that connects, many moments of reflection best delivered when the microphone is turned on. There is definitely a lesson or two for all of us here. You can purchase Thomas McColl’s Being With Me Will Help You Learn through, Listen Softly London you can connect with him on twitter.