Allen Fisher Linkages


[#] THE CROWD: momentum, energy and the work of Cy Twombly (pdf)


Turkey Trot
in memoriam Bob Cobbing


Swim at the Electronic Poetry Review

"A topology of catastrophe
Disaggregates edges asks where and when
of the self floats on intolerable significance."


Two texts at Pores:

Twisted Camel online at Pores 2

"Quantum-mechanical interference patterns provided evidence of a coherent quantum superposition between a pair of atoms and the molecular state. an ideal coherence that invoked a return to modernism and its theological restraint."

Nodding Donkey sequence online at Pores 3.

"It is known as the hedgehog space of spineiness misquoted as spinniness. Parts of the space are unapproachable just as others are unavoidable. A classic text at Palenque speaks of the central axis of the cosmos as the 'rained-up' sky. All opens to the separation of the sky from the Earth."


Sojourns page at Wild Honey Press. You can click to read the book, then buy a hand-sewncopy with card cover, the painting on which is one of a series of Trap studies by AF.

"The ancients used cinnabar, the red sulphide of mercury, for bright red. Zosimus spoke of it coming from the stars. Vermilion is the re-synthesis of mercury and sulphur into the likeness of the cinnabar from which the mercury was extracted. After vapourising and recondensing into the top of a flask, the flask is broken. It's almost black. As it is ground it becomes red. Cennion reckons that if you ground it every day for twenty years the colour would still become finer and more handsome. The change from black to red isn't a chemical one, but structural. A matter of light response to internal shapes. For this reason, vermillion isn't liked for painting on exposed walls. Modern manufactured vermillion is more prone to this structural change than its mediaeval equivalent."


Papa Doc Walk online at Allen Fisher's site. It begins:

"When aspiration was near
                   fearless proposal
                                        cowers deeper than basement
Now it has gone
                   fearless proposal
                                        empty premises of remains
on a premise
                   of flowered meadows
                                        minutely recorded without function"


The Poetry Buzz, a wonderful account of a day long celebration of Allen Fisher, with photographs.

"When university professors with big bibliographies hit sixty, they're frequently honoured with a festschrift, a solemn tome of panegyrics from admirers and learned friends.

Professor Allen Fisher has recently turned sixty. He gets a ride on a big red bus.


'We're celebrating three decades of Allen's work,' says his partner Paige Mitchell, 'but it's also a kind of Salon de Refuses on wheels'"


Ferneyhough online at Salt.

"A silk–screened still–life
with crushed video tape
and feathers
provides a digitally engineered response
from both sides of the brain
produces a newly starched outrage"


from Gravity as a consequence of shape: TENSOR at the Alterran Poetry Assemblage

"Too late to join the Investor Relation Conference"

and also, Trucking

"Fits petrified rust
a mystery of trapezes
an exceeding multitude of falling stars
following thoughts to their extreme"


7 may 2002 a modern performance - john chris jones' report of Allen Fisher performing at Froebel College, University of Surrey, Roehampton, London:

"part 1:
Allen had set up six easels with their backs to the audience. He then drew with felt pens while not looking at the drawing but instead gazing at (small fragments of?) the audience and the room as seen from where he stood.

He did this twice or thrice on each easel - to the sound of the felt pens rubbing and squeaking on the paper - while the audience looked and listened in total silence - and fascination.

part 2:
He then read from the text of a new poem Vole Volespin - inspired it seemed by the trapping of small animals like voles and mice and by the traps they are caught in"


William Burroughs: Some Contexts for Visual-Text Production by Allen Fisher
draft beginning of AF's Assemblage & Empathy: Composition in American Literature
and Art after 1950
online at Argotist

"In one spacetime the physiological process with mechanical device from that process. This a combination also proposed by Paul Metcalf with a radically different sensibility, both in terms of its perception's choices and the methods of selection. Both artists take on the disaster of Hubbard's physiological theory of memory and 'Clear Mind' fascism, in coupling with a particular American development of assemblage."

Other Fisher critical writings online -

Minimaus: in response to cultural malaise: Redell Olsen, Secure Portable Space

[#] 'The Crowd' - a paper on Cy Twombly, hosted at NACIP


3 Sample poems from Entanglement online at The Gig.

"Having come so far to find peace
you hate its stillness
and imagine shouting."
- from Jig Walk

plus further bonus 22 poems available from the Entanglement contents page at The Gig.

"scraping paint from surface
act on the chaotic consequence of romanticism"
- from Peter Lanyon


From the CCCP archives:

a letter

"The sponge is not infinite
but its limits are immeasurable"

Stanza 3 From 'Goose Neck'

"Venus rising from the sea is a hieroglyph of the republic"

and went to new: 3

"as if in a new notebook, started anew, at peace in the pace of a recall"


'Underbelly Jump' in Quid 10 (pdf)


from Watusi, In Memoriam Barry MacSweeney and Doug Oliver online at Allen Fisher's site.

"Tired of walking marks
the reader reaches dizziness
energy and position exchange values
experience distinguished from information
an international convention to return a stolen
mesh of organic and abstract
economic products"


Winging Step online at Jacket.

"The trapping region fills
with isotropically pure helium
in a cupronickel tube. A cold
beam passes through a series of
teflon windows, collimated
by a boron carbide ring, and
into the trapping region gets absorbed
by a beam stop. The trapping field
created by an assembly
of superconducting magnets continue to be
confined by quadruple racetrack constructions."


Slop online at Great Works

"Her garment was so bright and wondrous sheene
That my fraile wit cannot devize to what
It to compare, nor finde like stuffe to that,
From her unhastie beast she did alight,
And on the grasses her daintie limbes did lay
In secret shadow, farre from all mens sight:"


OLBOLO online at The Argotist. A poem in green & red.

"of common flowers


in exact i-beams"


Allen Fisher: Hooks place 32 taken out of place: 1980
At Ray Craig: Dada Kamishibai


Mezz Merround at Pages.

"A Philosopher stands
forward of where we are
eats toast and proposes
truth as distinct from


PhillyTalks 19 - October 17, 2001

Karen MacCormack & Allen Fisher

listen online to Fisher reading Excerpts from Watusi (9:47) and Wattle (4:54)

or the full 108 minutes - page also with three pdf talk documents.



ALLEN FISHER - Gravity Shapes (STEM 02)

1. Bel Air (11:21)
2. Watusi (14:36)
3. African Boog (8:23)
4. Break-a-Leg (8:15)
5. Tensor (5:27)
6. Ring Shout (16:58)

There is a part of 'Bel Air' at the Stem Recordings page,

"A reader follows the marks up the path
occasionally losing balance from
may be
synaesthesia stopped short by the figure
of Blake, kicking away sand and pebbles,
joining the path
naked beneath his raincoat,
locks my eyes."



AF's Spanner Press, 'about two publications a year'. Listing of titles, prices, & how to order them.

Also, Spanner page at Lollipop

and a Spanner/Spanner Editions page with subscription information & lists of samizdat magazine contents.


The index to Allen Fisher's website, where you can see the weekly drawn image (collect the set)


Encyclo Stubs:

Allen Fisher page at Absolute Astronomy

Fisher at Wikipedia

Fisher page at EPC Buffalo



Fisher Bibliography 1969-2002

Overview of Fisher's work in clusters, at the BEPC



Jive In The Blood - Sarah Law reviews Gravity at Stride
"Gravity, obviously, challenges what we think is the 'right way up' of things."

Tony Frazer mini-review of Gravity and Entanglement
"Gravity holds it all down"

Robert Joyce on Place

Entangled - Rupert Loydell reviews Entanglement in a poem:

"virtuous noise asymmetry
dark sedimentary layer
assumed grammar's sludge"

Silliman on Place

"the aesthetic impulse throughout Place always is toward here, this point in the text, the immanence of the word, so that it strikes me as almost impossible, or at least pointless, to quote passages or suggest an overarching course behind the text."

Robert Sheppard: New Memories: Allen Fisher's Gravity as a Consequence of Shape

"a fractal is an irregular action or shape, such as a cloud or a coastline, which is complex, though not now impossible to measure mathematically, and to establish the laws which govern its shaping."

Pierre Joris on this set of links, with two parapgraphs on Fisher from his own A Nomad Poetics:

"We will take the whole of the new century to finally read Allen Fisher's vast investigation into all our knowledges, the great serial constructive dérive he calls Gravity as a consequence of shape."

Bibliography of articles on Fisher at BEPC

A collage of responses to AF's work online at The Gig

Gilbert Adair's comments quoted at length are very interesting: "Say that the serious question there is: What would a non-symmetrical form be like? If it's four-dimensional, it has to move. A form where nothing is lost or dispersed – that is the circle's promise, the arch-symmetry of extreme tensions without discharge. The conservation of mass and energy. The universe may not be a pulse, ever-expanding would need the "spontaneous symmetry-breaking" referred to in Allen's essay "The Topological Shovel" (1982), effected "in the ultra violet or unseen region as if there are no masses".


Fissure Photograph: Allen Fisher reading at the Poetry Buzz, in t-shirt designed by Dell Olsen

Links compiled by Edmund Hardy. If you spot any new or missing Fisher links, or any broken links here, please get in touch. Also if you spot any mistakes.

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