Hari Parisi

Pine Row Issue No. 9 Spring 2024 - Featured Poet

With Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird


                        After the painting by Frida Kahlo



What about the monkey—

it looks to me like he’s mending a broken

link in the thorns clawing your throat, your white-clad


chest—spots of blood, a minor loss,

a nod, in my mind, to Christ, who they say gave

the full measure. I give it to you for not shaving your mustache,


plucking your brows, wearing not

a trace of eyeliner/mascara/concealer. I kinda

wish you hadn’t hung the hummingbird cross-like,


a limp sacrifice, though I think you’re

making a point about the stifling of song, of wings

stilled, of the brutality borne by the fragile. I’ve never spent


time in the jungle, not much for

the humidity it infuses, insects larger than a cat—

the cat is another matter—black and sure—your nemesis,


failings, perhaps, though I would say,

from your biography, that you were always brave,

didn’t flinch from self-portrait—carving the canvas as any


woman, her soul, her wound. I want to be

you. Though when I think about it, it’s the glamorous

you—you, with garlands, gardens in your swept-up hair, lusty


affairs you had, like they were your right

to breathe; how you pose as still life, head-on, fierce

precision, like the part in your hair, corona of nested butterflies,


your eyes—Oh, Frida, those eyes.

Self-portrait by Frida Kahlo

About the poem:  as shared by the poet

What inspires you?

Nature, human and the natural world, inspires me to write. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Advice for my younger self...Mmm, Be kinder to myself and practice empathy for others.

Are there any art forms outside of poetry that influence your writing?  How does that influence manifest in your work? 

Music, art, movies spur my imagination and expand connect me to a part of myself that sees the connection in all things.

Hari B Parisi’s poems have been published in numerous journals, most recently in Blood Pudding, Anacapa Review and, Poetry South. She is the author of three volumes of poetry, including She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep, winner of the 2020 Tebot Bach Clockwise Chapbook Contest. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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