Nineteenth-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud told his friends in Africa that he had “seen Australia”. But what did he mean by “seen”? Visited? Viewed on the horizon? Imagined?
The Bloomin’ Notions of Other & Beau is a book of antipodes—inversions—of the prose poems collected in Rimbaud’s Les Illuminations, which Toby Fitch turns upside down, hijacking and re-versing their content. Here you will find collages, redactions, homophonic and metonymic mistranslations, pattern poems, concrete poems and other systematic derangements, some curiously child-like, others warped by the virtual world. Rimbaud’s prose proves fertile ground in which to grow Bloomin’ Notions—poems that see the land Down Under in an other light.
"In The Bloomin’ Notions of Other & Beau, Toby Fitch releases hordes of godless hierodules to hack, frack and adirondack multiversal pathways through the parallel universes of Australian poetry. This is the archive as hi-rise, Rimbaud via Ashbery fed through the Shredder of Babel, where the jackhammered lupids of a Concrete aesthetic ruse, saturate, fold and bend in a ‘double sex heartbeat ribcage jangle’. In this uniquely co-dependent autopoiesis, Fitch has produced an anonymous autobiography that is at once prolifically particular and breathtakingly universal."
“Fitch explores the nether regions of late hominid consumer culture with ready humour, great savvy and Rimbauldian raunch and verve.”
Toby Fitch is the author of Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012), which was a co-winner of the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry, and Jerilderies (Vagabond Press 2014), plus two chapbooks, Quarrels (Stale Objects dePress 2013) and Everyday Static (Vagabond Rare Objects 2010). Based in Sydney, he works as a bookseller, a creative writing teacher, as poetry editor for Overland, and runs the monthly poetry night at Sappho Books Café and Wine Bar. He recently submitted a doctoral thesis at the University of Sydney on alternative play in contemporary Australian poetry. Bloomin' Notions is his third book of poems.
Toby Fitch, The Bloomin’ Notions of Other & Beau
2016. 80pp. ISBN 978 1 922181 46 6
Release date: April 2016.