freepost per copy – New Zealand


RENOIR’S BICYCLE confirms Michael Harlow’s reputation

as a playful and profound poet/storyteller. His profession as

a Jungian therapist, his sideline as a librettist and musician, his Greek background, and his consummate mastery of this particular art form are all evident in this new collection of prose poems. As his fellow poet Elizabeth Smither has written: ‘Michael Harlow’s work is supremely concerned with imagination and motive, the symbols and mythologies that underlie human existence, the profoundest questions we face.

If this sounds overly serious his techniques are light, easily accessible, painterly. The primary feeling after reading a

Harlow poem is delight.’ ––Elizabeth Smither

Michael Harlow is one of New Zealand’s leading poets. He

has published twelve books of poetry, including Cassandra’s Daughter (2005, 2006), The Tram Conductor’s Blue Cap (a finalist in the 2010 New Zealand Book Awards), Sweeping the Courtyard, Selected Poems (2014), Heart Absolutely I Can (2014), Nothing For It But To Sing (2016, winner of the Otago University Press Kathleen Grattan Award) and The Moon in a Bowl of Water (2019). Take a Risk, Trust Your Language, Make a Poem (1986) won the PEN/NZ award for Best First Book of Prose. Residencies he has held include the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship and the Robert Burns Fellowship. In 2014 he was awarded the Lauris Edmond Memorial Prize for Distinguished Contribution to New Zealand Poetry, and in 2018 he received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry.

A fingernail moon

   It just keeps getting on my nerves, he said,

twisting his head from side to side. Twitching.

I keep twitching inside and out, he shouted.

Glancing over his shoulder from time to time.

   And sleep is a no-good friend. Never was.

I’m so wide awake all the time . . . even when

I’m not. It’s crazy exhausting. I keep hearing

the songs of birds even before they sing.

    The hour hand keeps speeding up. I keep

slowing down. And then the whispering of trees

wherever I end high up in the falling down place.

    Listening to that quick brown fox that keeps

barking on Darkstrutters Hill.

   By Christ, I keep turning inside out a forgery

of myself. Look––It’s a fingernail moon up there,

he whispered. All I can say is that every day

has false alarms. They just keep ringing, don’t they.

© Michael Harlow 2022

Publication date: 05 September 2022


a collection of prose poems


ISBN: 978-0-473-64738-4

Softcover, 80 pp, 225 x 160mm

Cold Hub Press ~ Michael Harlow