Invisibility for Beginners
Published by Cinnamon Press
Exploring what creates both distance and closeness between people; how we are shaped and our individual strangeness and bonds, Helen Pizzey moves with assurance from the humorous to the tragic, often resting on an the dividing line between the two. Her oblique cameos and aslant observations play with the boundaries of the odd and the familiar. Rooted in the natural world, her imagery evokes a sense of communal life that is at times absurd and sometimes beautiful. "These poems pierce the skin and the outer fabric of our worlds. Unflinching, and with a fine surface tension, they surprise and delight. There's the wit of the prose poem ‘Thaw’, for instance, with its "manically depressed iceberg", or such a perception as "the tilt of a pear / against its hip-joined shadow" ('Still Life').
Helen Pizzey makes it new, sharply refreshing the palate." Moniza Alvi "This poetry is serious fun, heart-rending play, a terrific collection of work drawn from life and art and articulated in an original voice." Paul Hyland "Helen Pizzey’s Invisibility For Beginners is a memorable, even haunting collection of mostly-poems which tickle the mind as easily as they cleave your heart. The characters in her broad menagerie – many of them outsiders, the forgotten, the overlooked – share a number of other commonalities, chief among them the effects of time on mind, body and character. Pizzey has the knack of being able to conjure person, place and even smell in a few choice words – her economy belies the depth of feeling and empathy in her words, which are never too many nor too beautiful." Ian Wilson, Composer
Extract from: 'Familiar'
Today you were a leveret – fine, upstanding, shadow-boxing male – your slit gaze pinched across tidal grasses, x-raying the horizon. What midsummer, moon-gazing madness conjures you this way when, here you lie, pelt cheek cupped to my belly, silk ear sounding for the root of my voice