Author and musician Toby Fitch was born in London and raised in Sydney. His chapbook, Everyday Static, was published by Vagabond Press, 2010. His first full-length book of poems Raw Shock is forthcoming in 2011 with Puncher & Wattmann.



Light Switches


As with rocks emerging

in the lull between waves,

flourishing green, rekindled flames,

memories arise    comets

with strangely familiar names

seen from the bottom of the sea like somehow

I stepped on a light switch.


But as with autumn’s

undertow of leaves, rained-on

letters, tumbledown dreams,

memories dissolve    coins cast into the sea,

while the one I keep sifting for

is lost in the gravel at my feet, the swollen

waves engulfing the rocks.


New Year’s Resolution

On a night of fireworks veiled in mist, 

of Ferris wheels burdened by clouds —


     after hollow music beat down the door to my ears

     and soggy bones had dragged me home —


I found myself on a mattress on the floor

in the middle of a pitch-dark room


     awake and listening to the echo, upstairs,


of an old, upright piano playing grand arpeggios — 

twenty- to thirty-finger chords, 


     friends gathered round in warm chorus,

     singing old standards with abandon —


and it occurred to me I want to see daybreak again

having become both cavernous and water-logged,


     more afraid of myself than anyone else is of me. 



Bird in a Carpark 

She saw this coming:

stealth bombers hunting bats;

hailstones and lightning;

shadows burnt into the walls. 


The land has been lifted 

from under her claws 

and replaced by a

complex of rectangles


where fluoro lights flicker,

mercurial, sleep-deprived;

where spellbound lemmings 

go further and further


down, seeking a way up.     

Concrete warren, trap

of all traps — the future

like tarmac setting fast


around machinery both

redundant and indispensable,

hissing with oil, crawling

with sparks. Tangled in


webs, she cracks her beak

on the ceiling of black thunder,

her cry becoming a distant,

dissonant echo.