top of page
Melamine - Tom Jenks

Chapbook RCP110

A6 56 Pages

60 Copies


Melamine - Tom Jenks

Out of Stock
  • "John Ashbery wondered in Three Poems whether to ‘put it all down’ or ‘to leave all out’. Marie Kondo’s answer is to identify what you love and need (in your sock / poem collection) by asking ‘does this spark joy?’.  Tom Jenks is instinctively, I think, of the ‘put it all down’ persuasion, but there’s some kind of struggle with his inner Kondo evident in the 88 neatly folded four line stanza containers of this book into which he has stuffed so much, including more than one portion of porridge, a King of Sweden, an early memory of becoming a giant panda, ‘something specific about apricots’, wellness advisors, his mother, ‘a crumpled feeling at the cardboard factory’, and the best advice on creative writing I’ve read in a while which resolves the keep/don’t keep issue definitively: ‘I document it all in my notebook. / I throw my notebook into the river.’ Humour isn’t everything, but, as Tom Jenks has perhaps learned from Kenneth Koch and Tim Atkins as well as Ashbery, it is a very good way of letting more of everything into your poetry. It spills into and then leaks out of all the little drawers of this book.  Melamine is just perfect; durable and virtually unbreakable. Does it spark joy? Yes. Keep it on your shelves and read it often."

    Jeremy Over


    "Tom Jenks' poems are like fizzy little punchlines, reading one is often akin to being chucked around on a pendulum swing with a wobbly pivot. You’re lurched from image to image in the most joyous fashion; here it’s all late capitalism, cheeky wildlife, and as much cheap food as you can stomach. However, there’s something very dark going on at the core of all this and in our swinging we would appear to be ignoring it. The atmosphere abounds with anthropomorphic reckonings, carefully highlighting where we’ve been going wrong our entire lives. Do we part the humour, which is thick, sinewy, and covered in cellophane, and ‘peer into the dreadful cellar’? Down there ‘everything becomes significant’, there the ball is bouncing over and over like a metronome. It is there we find the author, stunned as a foal to see us, writing weird little poems and leading us astray, just rolling a bonbon on his tongue."

    Lydia Unsworth


bottom of page