We are pleased to publish three poems from Dominic Fisher’s latest collection of poems, A Customised Selection of Fireworks, available from Shoestring Press later this month (May 2022).
A Customised Selection of Fireworks It’s the sequence that really matters colour rhythm flow which isn’t something the lay person gets right every time. Maybe start with deep frozen sparklers some St Anthony’s fire a few howling spiders, remembering odd numbers work best. So, scotch bonnet, popcorn bombette high hats, puff adder jammy dodgers, some gamboge, and a titanium salute. Next one or two long-range screamers a tequilla sunrise some bloody cranesbill followed by a fat green mamba. Nearly there now with a gentle brocade three knee crackers a will-o-the-whip then the coup de grâce a haemo-goblin. Excellent. Would you like the receipt? Take care with my children. Please light them only in darkness and enjoy the show.
Inside Shepton Mallet Prison, National Poetry Day 2019 The word and the law a hand and the blame the logic of locks and meanings of keys all come to the same. Inside is this side outside is not. Venus or Mars or a plane a gull in the last of day these are no more than pictures on walls. Someone is shouting on another floor. Footsteps go down to the hall. You can consider how the world divides or what freedoms could be inside the inside but you come to a door locked on the side you don’t see when they put you inside.
Under Arcturus Day has come inside the walls, dogs two doors down are loafing on a savaged lawn. I came out here to see higher miles clarify then monster gates of fire but find I’m watching moths and bathroom windows orbiting a tree. Now though, Arcturus is over us. Shaded petals go ultraviolet, are half ghost as night-cats step across ponds of yellow lamplight to tap our books our brains, as soundless counterpoint sends a two-halved moon arcing through the leaves. And now in the emptied air cities are burning out among unseen towns, depleted stars. The dogs get whistled in. An ambulance flies howling through the sky. A down-the-middle moon shivers in its half house underneath our tree.
Dominic Fisher taught English language for many years, first in Turkey and Spain, and then in the UK in Bristol. His poems, now his main preoccupation, have been successful in major competitions and have been widely published and broadcast. He is a co-editor of Raceme magazine, and regularly gives readings, both in his own right and as a member of poetry performance group the IsamBards. This, his second collection, is his first published by Shoestring Press. His previous collection is The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead] (Blue Nib, 2019).
“From the precise re-membering of ‘Nocturnes’ and ‘Indoor Fireworks’, through the extraordinary beauty of ‘Walking Through a Half Open Book,’ to the genius of a culinary-minded Captain Hook swapping his prosthesis for a meringue-whisk, Dominic Fisher walks the high-wire of poetry, balancing surrealism with intense observation and an always erudite and playful love of words.”
“This poem [Dominic Fisher’s winning entry for the Bristol Poetry Prize 2018] I put on my ‘read again’ pile four times, knowing I couldn’t consume it all at one sitting – which is ultimately, I think, what I want from a poem.”
“This is an outstanding collection [The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead] by a writer with a distinct, compelling voice. Fisher is clearly fascinated by how opposites are really so close to each other: the living and the dead, work and play, the rural and the urban, the ordinary everyday and the complex.”
—Richard Lance Keeble, Professor of Journalism, University of Lincoln