Toby Fitch


And then comes the morning when it dawns on you
the sun is not going to rise any more than you will
above yourself; when, in the midst of the mist,
blinkers have crept up the sides of your
cheeks, corridors have closed in like
garbage-tip walls, doors have
disappeared, and the past
repeats ad nauseum,
hissing from the
gutters like

You’ve awoken to dead-ends stacked up, like bodies en bloc,
no exit signs, no wrong way turn back, where gambler’s
luck is never looking up, and if you’re honest
no one’s sure what you mean, where self-
abandonment is out of vogue, tunnel
vision is the new black, clouds
have descended so low that
even the supermarkets
are dark and everyone
is looking for some
way out, any way
out, not a mirror,
anything but
mirrors, just
a window
— open
to let


I plant forests, and they wither
behind me. There’s a traffic light

in my heart. Which colour? I don’t know.
The high-pitched whine circling my head

isn’t a vulture, it’s my halo. My double haunts me
in windows and lakes; the size of his eyes

erodes my mettle. Wherever I travel, metal
detectors go mental and the stink of burnt

sugar stalks me — crackling, always crackling.
When I fuck, my mind drifts. My lovers

say it’s a lack of friction. I guess I’m made
of cold blood, my skull is full of earwigs,

my visions littered with wheezing stars:
in the mirrors on the ceiling, miracles

have ceased. I blunder across these bitter
nebulae, hemlock on my tongue — no wonder

I’ve got the sniffles! Only a nightmare
will help me sleep tonight.

Toby Fitch is a Sydney-based poet who has been published in a number of Australian journals including Meanjin and Southerly. His first collection of poems, a pamphlet called Everyday Static, is out now through Vagabond Press. His first full-length book of poems will be published in late 2011. tobyfitch.blogspot.com.
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