EVEN THE SPIDERS ARE DESPONDENT / Tohm Bakelas
Spiders have no feelings. No feelings at all. They have no feelings? There is no equilibrium in despondency. Despondency is years of evolution, moulding ourselves into situations and environments we do not desire, and surviving, surviving for some reason, stagnant, may be for love, or loyalty, even misery or to just barely stay alive. Despondency is a habit, a coping mechanism, a state of mind that avoids responding to ourselves. I’ve seen spiders die right in front of my eyes. They wrap their legs into their body and give-up like it’s nothing. Nothing at all. Tohm Bakelas’ Even The Spiders Are Despondent uncovers the despondency that is constantly evolving inside us. This is not only personal to him, but entirely political. In Tohm’s words, “we move ahead” - but what is moving us?
What drew me to Tohm Bakelas’ work was the matter-of-factness of his voice. There is no embellishment, and there is a level of sincerity which is hard to find in this world of competition. We meet his kids, we find ourselves sat on the sofa with him, we find ourselves walking down the street or sitting in a bar with him. When it’s sincere, the simplicity of this interaction between poet and reader is a phenomena that involves not only the personal or “WHO IS TOHM BAKELAS?”, but it’s something political, because we are seeing an affected person. We are conversing, playing, joking, crying, eating, shitting, walking with someone who is telling us how they are emotionally affected by their environment.
Tohm’s appreciation for the small press publishing community is deeply felt and respected. His patience is also a virtue.
Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published multiple chapbooks in America and the UK and his first poetry collection Orphan Road has been published by Uncollected Press. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and he intends to conquer the small press and exclusively publish within.
56 pages printed on recycled paper
13 cm x 21 cm x 6mm
includes colour plates
designed and hand bound at the press
artwork by lucy wilkinson
inside photography by tohm bakelas
cover photograph by celie hanson
handmade limited edition run of 50 only.
each publication will be numbered.
Other writings/publications by Tohm Bakelas:
Cheap Booze and Shitty Poems
(Analog Submission Press, January 2020)
No Place To Be
(Holy&Intoxicated Publications, December 2019)
Orphan Road (Uncollected press, 2019)
(Medusa Publishing Press, June 2019)
(Poems-For-All, March 2019)
Decaying Sun Under Noontime Rain
(Analog Submission Press, February 2019)
A Bakelas Sampler
(Self-published, December 2018)
In Living Rooms
(Iron Lung Press, November 2018)
We All Arive
(Origami Poems Project, October 2018)
Detroy My Wound
(Budget Press, August 2018)
(Analog Submission Press, July 2018)