Petrol, Cyan, Electric

Petrol Cyan Electric books

This collection combines a conversational tone with passages of linguistic intensity to take on the big subjects: light, love, life. Domestic settings and the characters that populate them are particularly satisfying. I also enjoy the way the poems dabble or flirt with form and technique – couplets, half rhyme, the sonnet – before ultimately spinning on their heel and waltzing off in another direction. The poems asked me to accompany them and I went willingly.
– Simon Armitage

A collection where the poems really talk to each other, it evokes, in precise and gorgeous language, a vivid cast of characters and the currents which pass through and between them – electricity, communication, love.
– Michael Marks Award 2013 Judges Comment

There isn’t a weak poem in the entire collection.
-Peter Jarvis Sphinx 24, 2013


Review by Matt Bryden, Sphinx 24, 2013

Winner of the annual Poetry Business competition is a coveted title, and if this handsomely-produced volume, with its succinct judge’s blurb, is typical, then it belongs to the select… There is something reminiscent of Joseph Wright of Derby’s ‘Experiment on a Bird in a Vacuum’ about Lasky’s project, the scrutiny of the poet taking place in a kind of half-lit ghost-world. “Sleep is not for you, no,” she writes, and her scrutiny of fishermen, scientists, pylon erectors and writers suggests that anyone tending a skill does so at the expense of the real world.

She writes beautifully throughout:

It is the end of September.
Industrious waves have carried, lifted, thrown

another season’s worth of surfers
   
 (‘Fifth Chakra’)

In perhaps the most haunting image, which also provides the pamphlet’s knock-out title, perfume “bottled in blue cathedral glass” refracts light from a window. The narrator lies, “noticing how stained glass / fades from dark ocean to rock-pool.” The weird passivity of the vessel animated by a power outside itself is at the core of this pamphlet…

I can’t really credit this publication enough. The poems cohere, and become more than themselves. Echoing the tripling of the title, the last poem includes the line “frayed twine, green glass, driftwood” before ending on the word “blue” itself. It concerns the poet’s fear to plumb the depths of memory, history, grief, death and time, even though the pamphlet is testament to its rewards.

 

Winner in the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition 2012/13
Available from the Poetry Business here

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