On a reading of Alistair Fruish’s The Sentence, British Library Knowledge Centre
Sunday 25th March, 2018
It is so. Just as Daisy Campbell announces:
‘Four hours of Now’ in which writing is a river of time in full flow.
‘The Dyslexics revenge’ as Alistair Fruish actively reinvents language,
Furthering it through the current with the monosyllable wordstones
That both his heart and/or pen/laptop throw.
The Sentence stems from that heart
And from the soul it sound covers, with the blood of experience boiling
This potion like book incantates. from stream of consciousness to the real
And to each event Fruish witnessed, in the flush of time passing
The characters caught within it, all serve and pass sentence
On what the shattering law incubates.
From outcast to inmate to champion of expression,
This continuing sentence dazzles like the sun struck canals on new worlds.
In the waterfall of this voice came a broken throat cleared for singing,
As a child’s nightmare reading becomes the winning flag for all men
And women to commemorate and unfurl.
We were introduced in this room to a life in full chapters.
That these often passed in an image or a in a run of words stunned the ear.
As the audience listened hard to six trusted readers
They were given the book text to follow, allowing the musical connect
To rise clear. For this was a concert indeed, a recital it seemed,
Beamed from Heaven; with these hard words as angels
Gracing the expletive, along with both the profound and profane,
From the drug fed wasteground to stars, the journeys inside
This one novel are scorched on the conscience
In so many different understandings of blame.
The chosen team demonstrate the poetics within the found
Sentence, being themselves trusted poets populating the page
And the earth. Tommy Calderbank’s vital voice, Cee Smith’s strident image,
Jeff Young’s long word beauty, while Rebecca Hearne’s’ archaeology
Grants a discovery of the past its full worth. The actor Graham Gavin
Completes this search for the truth in sound spearing, and it is a kiss
Made from language as the sharing of breath promises.
A boy who was closed lets in love and the bravery this engenders
Is felt and seen on the pages and in the moments before listeners.
As one performer reads on their successor dissolves through to take over,
Daisy Campbell’s direction drawing colour from the black and white’s
Glistening. As one voice fades, there’s the rise and the regeneration,
Assuring all that this story is an immersion for all of us in its waves.
As we become hypnotised and dream drown, the words themselves
Become water, freeing experience and removal from the ways we are bound,
Found and saved. So the vast story strikes from the briefest stirring
Of surface, to ripple out and subsume us, turning the trickling ‘Now’ into seas.
This ‘Now’ is stretched too by a host of continuity readers
Who follow you out to the toilet so that not a word on stage will be missed
And there is also a chance, primed by an open chair to take over
And swim a while in the river, and to feel in your mouth as you travel
The sharp taste and texture of each sensation and sound and phrase twist.
So this is a book as event, with audience as the writing, and Fruish’s life,
Work and choices guiding you on word by word.
A book of one syllable dreams that make the real so persuasive
As you are forced to encounter each moment with the desire and need
To be heard. The Sentence serves all and it is one we should follow.
After Kiss My Asbo, The Sentence makes all we once thought of as true
Quite absurd. It was an honour to serve. The Sentence survives as an object.
Gathering weight, this slim volume encompasses all of the world.
From one life, others grow, as with each touch and expression
We gain fresh perspective on what a virulent soul understands,
That we, the condemned can now live our lives free from judgement
And that love’s true expression creates its own method,
That has been seen and suggested by the important book
In our hands.
David Erdos 15th April 2018