I might have loved her a basket
full of beautiful poison berries}
Gala Mukomolova’s Without Protection is a heady draught: it is disjointed hallucinatory image, weaving mythology of the fearsome Baba Yaga with vignettes of chaotic frenetic modern life. Mukomolova uses the English language in an unpredictable, splendid way, bending it to her will, her witchlike power. This compact collection is infused with strange color, both violent and tender. It reaches deep into me. Sometimes almost ugly, not always delicate or shrinking by any means, it is a censer of potent fragrances to my overfastidious brain.
Excerpts after the cut.