WATERTOWN — Ohan Press of Watertown has just published two books of poetry by the late Helene Pilibosian nearly four months after her death.
Pilibosian was a former editor of the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.
The two new collections of poems are Candor Candy: Global Poems, and Planet Tome Reborn. They have been released on Amazon.
In Candor Candy: Global Poems, Pilibosian presents her love for art, music, nature, and travel in poems with an international flavor. Her travels take her readers all over the world, and then across America, stopping at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to admire a khatchkar, an Armenian cross-stone. Her Armenian roots are also evident in poems like “For That Iris”:
I grew up with the minor key,
sharagans in church
the essence of Armenian history
condensed into a few notes,
But she acknowledges being a child of the West in “Midnight Performs”:
I will say
that I am from the East,
my features proof of this.
But often I speak more like
a person of the West
an independent gal
who cultivates her niche.
She eventually returns to her native Boston, only to observe the chaos of the Boston Marathon bombing in “Clam Chowder Manners”:
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.
In Planet Tome Reborn, Helene Pilibosian continues her sci-fi poetry tale from her previous book, A New Orchid Myth, in which the Everydream family, Amethyst, Granite, and daughter Taralee, come to Earth from the planet Tome to start a new life in New York City. In this sequel, the Everydreams are in Boston, a grown Taralee meets Ted, whom she later marries, and Granite advises people on Tome to prepare to start a business that grinds sunflower seeds into a powder for bread in anticipation of human immigration. The story is told in a highly metaphorical, surreal way, with an obvious love of art often expressed through clever rhymes, as in “After The Dinner Table”:
as I perceive red walls.
Black-slack for the servant’s blouse.
The chimes of color evolve
in Matisse’s Fauve.
Flat perspectives drive
my mind’s pith and rind.
Both books are available through Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions.
Pilibosian’s poems have appeared in many American and Armenian literary journals and anthologies in the US and abroad. Some of her poems were finalists in literary competitions or won first prizes and honorable mentions. Her early work has been cited in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature.
Ohan Press, a private bilingual micropress, has published 14 books of both prose and poetry, including Helene’s autobiography My Literary Profile: A Memoir, awarded honorable mention by the New England Book Festival.