Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Allen Fisher in snippet view



From "Dog":

                      Using derelict waste lovely tresses

my ramifications can be three storeys necklaces
of tunnels over an acre of woodland fleet of foot
ideally deciduous with ample ground cover
of furze broom shrub but including abandoned mine shafts sitting opposite
Three of my dogs are lurchers licked
the cross-bred grey-hounds spring smoke light
that Gypsies use to catch food heard all this
Although their coats are rough finishing all distance

they are gentle, prissy creatures hold my hand
with a horror of muddy feet among the deathless
and an aversion to rough games.  the lyre and wobble box
My residence in Britain goes back to hedgerows herdsmen
just after the dawn of consciousness. turns slowly
The place names of pate and bawson wide pathed
brock and grey are added to the palette after red and blue
Or Badger ham on the menu produces a violet hue

Older than and tangled by cities amazed all laden
they haven't been there since collars were invented ...


"Dog" is a longish piece (26 eight-line stanzas), the first piece in "Art Bisaster Continuum" which is one of the four sections in Dispossession and Cure which is the fourth book in Fisher's magnum opus Gravity as a Consequence of Shape.

Behind "Dog" lies London, a London seen in long reaches of time, and considered through the eyes of a dog. As Art Bisaster Continuum proceeds we're aware of successive waves of invasion by Barbarian, Badger and Beaver. There may be some parallels being drawn with feral City traders. That's what I'm getting from it today, anyhow.

"Bawson" is an extraordinarily obscure word. It might be the variant on "bawsand" (streaked with white on the face - of horses) mentioned in Boucher's Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words (1833). I'm not confident though.

I suppose the original jacket of Dispossession and Cure is brock and grey!

(Reality Street are publishing the whole of Gravity - it will be about 500 pages - later this year.)

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