Publications / Acknowledgments

January 9, 2015
Many thanks to Ms. Ada Fetters and The Commonline Journal for publishing “Daughter Bird Bone Song 6” & “Daughter Bird Bone 7” today!

October, 2014
Many thanks to the editors of Tinderbox Poetry Journal for making a beautiful home for my poem, “Baby Giant”!

October, 2014
Thank you to The Commonline Journal for publishing “Daughter Bird Bone Song 4” & “Daughter Bird Bone Song 5”!

They can be found here:

July, 2014
Thank you to The Commonline Journal for publishing these!
“Daughter Bird Bone Song 2” & “Daughter Bird Bone Song 3”

They can be found here:

May 11, 2014

I was longlisted (three poems) and shortlisted (1 poem) for the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize, 2014! Thank you to Fish Publishing! If you scroll down and down and down, you’ll see the poem titles listed (alphabetically by first name).

Originally published: April 2014!

Daughter Bird Bone Song 1. Many thanks to Ms. Ada Fetters and The Commonline Journal!

Originally published:
Sycamore Review, Winter/Spring 1997

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Ninth Episode / by Michele Pizarro Harman

It’s a time when one must be reminded of The Flood Story. The ark afloat. The awful paddling at sea. Rockless. And yet, there is an island. No one sees it. It barely exists. It moons away and the premature ghost of it holds sway. A thin film on the horizon. And there, the snow ambushes night. And there, the snow blows open the sky, meaning, God’s paying attention as to a faucet left on. He’s long ago walked away from our switch and the electricity is endless. Every minute an anticipation of the bulb’s glassy snap. And someone begins to hand over the gold trophy at the annual Teddy Awards. Hope cup. Though, it’s always empty, meaning, hope is invisible, or, one can’t hand over hope; one must manufacture it oneself. The Hogarth Press of Pandora’s box. Woolf, pressing each metal chink into place while praying to avoid the give-away Freudian slip. Give it back now. It isn’t yours this time anyway. Return to the place of new-driven snow. Become again Mary, Scarlett, Eve.

Originally published:
Sycamore Review, Volume Nine, Number One: Winter/Spring 1997

Bewitched: Mother’s Spell / by Michele Pizarro Harman

Samantha’s out looking for Mother. Then again, who isn’t? Over the Coliseum, Sam’s in full-blown flight. Witch regalia’s pretty much what you’d think: an ankle-length black satin, cut into batwing points at wrists and toes. On her feet, silk and pointed flats. Over the Coliseum again, then, possibly, the Thames. But, Mother’s drinking Turkish tea. In Turkey. Sam’s sixth sense finally kicks in or an x-ray vision, and she sets down onto a velveteen tea-table seat. The little mirrors of tea pot; the little mirrors of silver cups; the tiniest mirrors of a beaded curtain a continuous patter sinuous and glistening, a gray rain that feels for all the world red. Or blue. How can Mother drink tea at a time like this? How can Mother wear jewelry spilled down her dress like a queen of Siam? How can Mother smile so serenely, her one hand steady as a wax figurine’s, her eyes unblinking as glass, her head and neck a premature bust done up in painted wood?

Originally published:
Sycamore Review, Volume Nine, Number One: Winter/Spring 1997

Bewitched: Witch Hunt / by Michele Pizarro Harman

Samantha’s in the garden, mothering the roses. Gertrud Jekyll’s black-market twin. And Tabitha in her bassinet? Just another gardener’s dream: the year’s certain, blue-ribbon pick. But, one continent to the next, Osgood Rightmire’s in town, de-bunker extraordinaire. He’s the type who’d never have brought fire back to earth. One spark, and he’d dismiss the whole thing as a bad trip. Today, however, his amateur incantation, recited in jest, sends Sam into a panic: half witch, half clear as glass.  Imagine watching yourself erased, leather pumps up, entirely off the face of Morning Glory Circle. There: nothing more than a hovering centerpiece from the formal dinette. There: nothing more than a passing thought. Mother appears. She joins the ranks of the heard and not seen, recedes under the spell, then intercedes to send the offending voodoo-doc’s ring up in a puff of smoke. Thus making the airwaves clear for witches’ light-particle spells once again.

Originally published:
Modoc Forum, August 2009, Contest Winner

Bewitched: The Séance / by Michele Pizarro Harman

Nine candles
backlight black chiffon.

Her jewels
mimic fire, and so

she turns her husband to dust,
a mini witch’s hat
of Abner DNA.

Gladys’s tears
become a river
to his

pillar of salt.
No power
has she but

to drown him
in her

Originally published:
Quarterly West, #46: Spring/Summer 1998


My guide, less a white rabbit
than a black car on a track,
take me to a sanatorium,

a place where the sick
congregate like fans. The walls,
white; the nurses,

white; the light, white
as a wedding invitation,
and my friend shows me

her illness, her x-ray,
the large spot cribbed
between the lowest ribs,

her baby’s skull bent
to one side at an inquiring angel,
a question mark,

its head above a broken neck,
the neck a hasp
on the straightened line of pearls that are

its vertebrae. The doctors say
they can’t release the child, a fixture
like an organ now,

a phantom heart. Wintering
in the body’s folded and refolded hold,
sealed beyond her will,

the glassy imprint
is an unquerulous Alice, boatless,
oarless, or less even than that.

Originally published:
the Antioch Review, Volume 56, Number 1: Winter 1998

Mary Tyler Moore Show: Third Episode / by Michele Pizarro Harman

Art’s twisted corridors. A pinch of snow. Mother’s wig and pop-quiz cheeks. Daughter-snatcher. At work on a girl, neck up, in wet clay steadily, steady-handed Phyllis. The clay-headed pedestal and the artist’s studio are hers. A separate charcoal of a woman’s profile and mane leans against a chair back staring at the artist’s in comparison miniature head. Even smaller, the child face. It looks to the ceiling, its malleability a given. With a sharp stick, Mother digs at the skull, making hair. But daughter Bess will prefer Mary’s dining-room Miro. Bleed me with your reds. Assail me with your yellows. Drown me in your blue. Miro has centralized his name on this one and boxed it in. Tomorrow the child will adore the black box and its liquid middle. Better than Mother’s milk and infinitely more memorable. Daughter to the black box, become an invention. Melt out the edges of your own signed and numbered print.

Originally published:
The Midwest Quarterly, Volume XXXVII, No. 3: Spring 1996
This one is about the year our father was away for Vietnam. An Air Force B-52 navigator, he sent home audio letters to our mother, on cassette, and songs for me and my sister, to help us fall asleep at night. One of the songs he sent was, “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”

Nyctophobia / by Michele Pizarro Harman

Each new shadow, how
they fill the world in;

here is my bedroom,
a mimosa branch brimming

with powder brushes, pink and touched gold
at the tips, smelling of splayed peaches;

down below, the kitchen. In a few weeks,
I will count

the pods’ tiny beans,
a currency, stockpiling them in the bent pocket

of each joint, which marks a new branch,
a stair. But just now, in this highest spot,

I wish for dangerous candles
against the dark,

even an electrical storm
against the war era

of the landlocked family, our father appearing there
only by the terse flashes

of the blue den, cassette tapes
and lurid dreams. The moon,

clearly a matriarch
this year, rises again,

an ivory disc
lifted from a vanity stand,

the distressed face
of a hand-held mirror.

Originally published:
Mississippi Mud, #39

Cosmology / by Michele Pizarro Harman

At the rare angel birth the amnion bursts. Fizgig,
just lit. Diaphane, the new one buries itself
in a cloud alveolus, afterbirth curd

clinging to its wings as it spreads
each one innately, each cellophane fan.
It dreams of thrashing the air.

Of crossing unscathed over
heaven’s gluey reefs, snags risen
in the morphous water

like cadavers. It occupies a place
where one is born into a particular space, never
leaves, and grows not. Born

whole. Aloof in their bliss,
how could they possibly know us?
Here, where yet another slippery anguish blues

on the vine, where the full moon repeatedly
papers the walls with a shadowing
of a radically other world.

Originally published:
Three Lights Quarterly, Spring 2010

winter trees
each a composition
arranged in crow

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