Toby Litt: a poem


Photograph of Toby Litt by Mauricio Molizane de Souza


Homo Sapiens


The absentees prefer

the places where they were

now they're no longer there

but water, light and moving air –


but water, light and moving air

enter and disrepair

where commerce was before

and ceiling falls to floor –


and ceiling falls to floor

and through an open door

no purposes appear –

the absentees are here.



Toby Litt was born in 1968 and grew up in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He is the author of eleven novels and four short story collections. His most recent book is Patience (Galley Beggar Press). Toby teaches creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. When he’s not writing, he likes to read, swim, play guitar and do nothing.