Candor Candy: Global Poems by Helene Pilibosian is a full-bodied collection exploring the space between humanity and nature, and the sadness and beauty therein, from the Amazon to the Thames to China and back to the US, where the poet resides, an Armenian-American, already by nature an international and globally-aware writer.
The poems strip back to the senses in color and form. They are somewhat reminiscent of Jon Fosse’s more nature-led pieces in form: combinations of natural elements and the senses, somewhat awry with the immediate and raw emotion of the poet in the moment, a cultural reference from modern-day life hits sharp against a more traditional or timeless word or phrase. A favorite of the reviewer, “Sun-Moon Language” talks of humanity, or rather, other people, “they”:
They use imagination like a bowling-ball
or a loan that can’t be repaid
Sentences hang to the next line, or can be taken whole, a double meaning appearing when read more carefully, reminiscent of the cyclical poetry of Charles Olsen. This also gives a sense that the poet is living in the happening, rather than musing later. It is the movement in the words that holds the key to the pieces here: visualization is easy, focused, and automatic on reading. Even when dealing with the Boston Marathon, in “Clam Chowder Manners,” the poet stays internal, reactionary, emotional.
But I forgot clam chowder manners
on Boylston street that day
when the marathon exploded.
My memory has dulled
around the edges of the names.
It may come as a surprise that Pilibosian is not, as the reviewer imagined on first contact, a young NYC girl catching the current wave of fashionable poetry on the East Coast – no, reader, this poetry is from an older, wiser poet with many years of expertise in the world of verse. Not only has Ms. Pilibosian managed to create pieces that resonate with timeless energies, she has also caught the tailwind of trend, and unsuspectingly she swoops in and nails it to produce a vibrant and contemporary book. So much to say more, but alas, only a short review requested. Pilibosian gains a fan here.