Saba Syed Razvi offers her readers a mature, altogether consummate collection in heliophobia. These deftly written poems are a bold combination of freedom and constraint. The poems follow Nereid on the verge of death “stretched too thin, high / and pushed higher, carrying / in offering this disk of pearl” to the Muse (for Anais Nin) whose “feet touch down as fallen eyes / drop, shatter with each step & leave / the icicle sound of blue glass, / laughter hanging the fog behind shadows.” Razvi gives a unique picture of the beauty among the wreckage through these thoughtfully honed poems.
-- Leah Maines, Publisher, Finishing Line Press
heliophobia opens with a sea nymph on the verge of death, closes somewhere between the orgiastic rapture of a rave and an ecstatic experience of midnight meditation, and pivots on the shadow of conflicting cultural perspectives—one embracing in revelry the tangible darkness of the night and the other racing in fear from beneath its shadow toward the light. The book casts veiled dream images, ideologies, and shimmering reinventions of character, myth, and archetype across continents and time, seeking the certainty of some center around which experience orbits. A resulting whirl propels the reader through goth-rock refrains and mantric prayers, incantations and phantom confessions, into an underground freefall exploring the textures of shadow and the consequences of light.