Leans is the condition experienced by a jet pilot as he leaves the Earth’s gravity. The book brings together four chapter-books and the remaining poetry that completes the poet’s twenty-three-year project Gravity as a consequence of shape started in 1982. The earlier two volumes were Gravity and Entanglement, published in 2004 and 2005. The work includes brief and clear descriptions of scientific vocabulary along with poetry that demonstrates enjambment and transformations of poetry derived from collage practice or a practice that uses more than occasion to inform the work all at once in the same place. The poetry continues and extends the poet’s concern for how we know anything and what vocabulary humans use to describe it. The texts therefore draw on unusual as well as straightforward words to achieve a rich range from blend to disruption. This encourages the reader’s confidence but also provides many instances of surprise.
‘An alphabetical list of dances found in 1982 gave Gravity as a Consequence of Shape its titles, its scope, but not its structures. There are many spacetimes and many pertinent voices and in this, the last serial publication of the project, we hear them speak in the only human time the productive reader has – now. Like cosmic paradox, the project’s farthest point from its origin brings us back to its beginnings: to that list and to a culture which can (still) only be dreamt of.’ —Robert Sheppard
‘If poetry is the scholar’s art, then Allen Fisher remakes scholarship in the spirit of poetic inquiry. In all his work, Fisher has committed himself to a precarious openness toward knowledge. Leans moves from an exploration of language as the material of information to an emergent lyricism of facticity as n-dimensional space. Leans is a masterful work in the project of undoing mastery.’ —Charles Bernstein