They meet underneath the apples on the sabbath to fuck in the bushes
she couldn’t help but love when the forked tongue made an electric feast
of her soft flesh
Echidna, essa may ranapiri’s (Ngāti Wehi Wehi, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Arawa, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Pukeko, Highgate, Na Guinnich) (they/ia) second poetry collection weaves together three strands of tradition; Greek mythology, Christianity, and Māori esoteric knowledge. As cliché as it sounds, it’s hard not to refer to essa’s mahi toi as groundbreaking. But it’s immediately clear when reading their work that that’s exactly what they’re doing. Carving out space by breaking new ground, allowing others to follow. As a fellow member of Ngāti Takatāpui, Echidna is a comfort and blessing to read. A sexy amorphous collection of myths and pūrākau, weaving strands of various ontologies, and a character that’s figuring shit out, Echidna doesn’t feel very far off what it means to exist as a queer Māori today. My guess is that is what is so powerful about essa’s writing.
It is intelligent, raw, and queer. Groundbreaking and f*cking sexy.