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Allen Fisher




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Gravity presents the first five books of poems from the sequence Gravity as a consequence of shape, started in 1982 and scheduled for completion in 2005. Gravity includes the books Brixton Fractals, Breadboard, Civic Crime, Dispossession & Cure, and Fizz. The sequence is an inversion of empirical demands. Each untitled poem has been relabelled with a jazz dance from a list of dances, from African Boog to Zip. The design of the overall work uses the model of a crushed cylinder, the process of a crumbling wall and a variety of contingent energies, interrupted narratives demonstrating crowd-outs, descriptions of shifts in focal consciousness, fleeting interruptions that damage continuities and expectations with named actors; Burglar, Badger, Fireman, Mathematician. These narratives are supported by decoherent syntax, moving positions that question strident notions of coherence and over-determined incoherences. This is a syntax that sometimes avoids and sometimes embraces tried stanza structures through the use of unreliable sentences and designed forms that exercise deliberate breaks from golden mean or idealised exactness. The poems rely on inconsistency leading to prepared and unexpected transformations that link or rhyme into following or previous poems. One preparation involved labelling a cylinder with stanza indications to provide sonority, bending the cylinder in upon itself and producing new damaged sonorities from the crushed indications. This transformed geometry energises the process of aesthetic productions in each reader’s involvement. One activity transforms words by sound, another by meaning and another by inversion or critique of its proposals. One unrealised proposal is to demonstrate truth. Another is to confirm a lack of reliance upon expectation. The subjects bridge biotechnology and quantum physics through a system of urban gardening and leaking streets. The proposals demand civility and are preposterous.

Praise for this Book

‘A burglar near the end of the century hears a song thrush on trumpet. William Blake, senior citizen of Lambeth, is walking through the Brixton riots. Garden design encodes aesthetics and slavery. This is our poetry. It ranges from archaeology to jazz, from genetics to ZAP vectors via Paxton and Mandelbrot, a performance in time. Allen Fisher’s epic Gravity is an alphabet of procedural poems, a conceptual cinema, a fun-park, and a museum of anthropology. Deliberately imperfect, democratic, non-totalising, vivid and beautiful: we could not have imagined it without him.’ —Tony Lopez

‘Allen Fisher’s Gravity is a definitive work of synthesizing (non-totalizing) perceptual analysis—an energy map for the uncoded regions of social space. In shape-time as pliant as that which Fisher explores here, the mind of the writer, seen from above, takes on the aspect of a river through the head. No wall can stop it (the culture breaks).’ —Miles Champion

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