When I first came to Crewe
I saw the death of my mind
and started work again
to bring it back to life
through nourishment unknown
to me until then with
vegetables and fruit already
known with tactics
already tried and sometimes
previously tested until
on the third day after
the railway declined
I stood on the grime of
platform 5 and revived
my confidence in
a lack I now recognised
as necessary as demanding


His choice demands
a barrel of laughs
corresponds between
what he tries to achieve
and how he goes about
the tension involved
treads on another
rules out interpersonal
comparisons with utility in
aggregation of preference
into consistent social choice
a convenient short-hand
for well-being without
guard against damage
commitment to happiness
contingent on insufficient
depth of criterion for judgement
and the value of negative freedom
in defence of a frailty of others
full of impossibility the nuisance
of incompleteness in partial order
repeats banality emerges from plural
evaluation given uncertainty the
probability-weighted and expected
value with unambiguous welfare treats.


Up against the
traffic contained
and shaken before
questioned self-
awareness social
awareness self-
management relationship
management development
of emotional competence
self confidence up
against achievement
orientation empathy
against the shaken

the partially flooded fields
more attractive than those
fully flooded where the
bridge over the stream rises
above the water that surrounds
it where cattle pick at
dry scruffs of grass
where the reflection of glass
is mirrored in the water
casting shadows onto train
windows or like a cargo boat
piled up with cucumbers
carrying a change of tone
that shifts with the passing
transport hurrahs for tank
weapons and cages of lions

allen fisher (born 1944) is a poet, painter, publisher, teacher and performer associated with the British Poetry Revival. Fisher was born in London and started writing poetry in 1962. His early long project Place was published in a series of books and pamphlets in the 1970s. He has been working on a project called Gravity as a consequence of shape since 1982. As editor of Spanner, he has published many of the Revival poets. Fisher is Professor of Poetry and Art, and Head of Contemporary Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, based at the Alsager Campus of MMU Cheshire. He has exhibited widely and his work is represented in the Tate Gallery. He edits the magazine Spanner. <source>

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