Arresting and intelligent, the first full collection from Robin Thomas exudes wit and warmth. Acutely observed and often wry, Momentary Turmoil abounds with both imaginative leaps and a deeply humane sensibility.
Passengers are reminded
that we have four loud carriages,
B to E, where you are expected
to cough, sniff and scrunch paper bags,
to talk as loudly as you can and hoot with laughter
at jokes which are devoid of humour.
You should bellow into mobile phones,
shouting details of your divorce,
or why Harry, sitting two seats away,
has to be sacked
or that you are on the train.
If you are quiet in any loud carriage
you will be asked to transfer
to the punishment carriage, F,
where, unless you recant,
you will be required
to write an essay in which are elucidated
the provisions of Magna Carta,
write a villanelle in Latin
and/or compile a report
on the recent downturn
in sales of guttering in Lithuania.