Tohm Bakelas

Three Poems – Tohm Bakelas

day two, no power

seventeen minutes late on the job
and no one seems to notice,
i don’t read the reports,
don’t say hello to anyone,
just don’t care.
the electricity is out,
computers don’t work
and phones are dead.
i walk around inside
looking for signs of life.
i notice trees in the courtyard are maimed,
“potential ligature risk” a doctor tells me.
beautiful trees mangled by a hack job,
even the birds can’t stand the sight.
it’s seventy-two degrees outside and
i exist in a room with no windows.
i read poems of bruce embree
and think how much longer
must i continue doing this job,
surely there must be something
greater out there for me?
i come up empty and
watch the clock.


becoming an adult

first time ever,
i bought myself
a new vacuum,
a cordless bissell
model #2288,
had great reviews,
most of them said
it’s perfect for pet
hair and cat litter,
that’s exactly why i need it,
on account of my 27lb cat
and i’m not too good with
sweeping anyway—
nowadays i vacuum at night,
the bissell has a light
on the bottom
where the suction is
so i really get to see
how clean the floors get,
it’s pretty amazing
how much filth i live in,
kinda even makes me
feel a bit bad, but truth
be told, i would never trade
the cat for all the money
in the world.


today is still spring

the stink of last night lingers
in my clothes
in my hands
in my hair
in me

every poem i write is about
september or autumn
yet today is still spring

i walk through this city
past the post office
the library and
the hospital

the sun shines everywhere
and everything looks fine

people in their cars
are coming and going
people on the sidewalks
are eating ice cream cones
people all around are
laughing and smiling

i walk past the people
and their happiness

they don’t notice me and that’s okay

something magical
has happened here
and i don’t know
what or why


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 18 chapbooks and 2 full-length collections. He runs Between Shadows Press.

2 thoughts on “Three Poems – Tohm Bakelas”

  1. Prithvijeet Sinha

    All the poems are absolutely relatable and steeped in everyday details that are lucidly and charmingly presented by you.

  2. These poems are brilliant. How do I get a hold of this young man? I’d like to purchase some books and offer to put out something for him.

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