blackmail press 26
Liz Breslin
New Zealand

from: Angipanis of the Abanimal People - Andy Leleisi'auo
Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, mean old hag, a
witch, a worried child is wary.
Mother said that Baba Yaga
comes to get the kids who stray.

Mortar flying, pestle pounding
on the forest ground, the evil
Baba Yaga, mean old hag
is on her way. But peek a

sneaky look at Baba Yaga
through your eyes, child, not your fear.
She’s still a woman, what a woman,
Baba Yaga.  She flies free, she’s untied by

her implements,
they’re not the instruments of her
submission. Baba Yaga’s not
stuck in the kitchen bitching.

Neither does she listen
to the gossip coursing through the
urban forest. Witch. Bitch. Evil Hag.
Baba Yaga. She’s a stranger,

strange no doubt, but stranger
still the folk insisting that she’s
Evil, Other, Baba Yaga,
outside of society,

outside of the way that mothers
want their pretty kids to be.
Independent, Baba Yaga
lives alone, lives strong and free

Ugly? Evil?  Doesn’t give a
flying mortar as to what we
think of her. Baba Yaga, she,
she lives in fecund forest harmony.

She keeps the fires burning
in the skulls, our minds, while we,
we hide our lights under the covers,
scared of seeing Baba Yaga,

scared of seeing ourselves out there
scared of being us and free.

To Let

it’s good of you to
let him go away
they say

like I am the letter
i’m the law

like I control
this winged and wild mind

like he obeys

like I prey on him
keep him in

but in the end
open my trapdoor
and let him fly away

Liz Breslin lives mostly in her head and in Hawea Flat, New Zealand.  Her poetry, short stories, reviews and articles have been published in NZ (The Press, The ODT, Oh Baby, Debate, a fine line and Magazine) and overseas.
Liz is the co-founder of Poetic Justice Wanaka. She’s taken to the stage on open mic nights this year in Rarotonga, Auckland, Wanaka and Dunedin. Liz’s first play, "Losing Faith: A Tale of PND", will be performed in 2010.