blackmail press 25
Mariana Isara
New Zealand

cast down - mephisto jones
Mariana Isara was once the leader of a small insurgency of prepubescent girls denied equal access to sport. Her poetry has appeared in Muse a feminist zine, Kaupapa:NZ Poets, World Issues, Trout, The Lumiere Reader, and as part of a Save Happy Valley art auction. She lives in Otautahi/Christchurch and on her more rebellious days she plots to join Circus Amok.
There she flows again

She’s all spill
that girl
and the wind’s made
a nest in her hair again.

Her mother combs
her knots, and there’s lots
and lots of them.

She names them for her
Nina, Neruda, Nelson
and Naughty (for
the big ones) and says
you look like the Wild
Woman from Borneo!

And she braids
her frizz like the Wai-
makariri and ties
the ends with bows.

Yeah, she’s all spill
that girl, arguing
with Mr Barr (again)
about not getting
to play rugby.

Who cares, who cares! she says
when he explains: Tackling
would prevent your breasts
from developing.

Oh, the cheeky wee monkey!
Scowling at the roses
outside the principal’s office
shouting Girls can do anything!

That girl, her tongue
a slip and a sliding
sexist, racist, nuh
make me she chants
around the playground
and she back flips
backs flips
off the bar again.

A mouth like a river
that girl, all splish
and splash, like a flood
in the bathroom.

Oh, that weird sister
that rebel daughter
those broken eyelids
that precious little pearl

That girl, all spill
like a pot, boiling.

I miss her.