essa may ranapiri



for Joshua Whitehead


rorohiko hustle data thru       th wildebeest of mbs         a fan spinning itself to death          inside          th
machine         a rat stuck in a steel box       a blowtorch humming it red      Zoa is reclined on a receipt of
food is too expensive to       live on          once again           he’s resting his feet on the        arm of the
couch           dreaming of motorbikes          travelling over the great plains           a cloud of Pōpokotea
caping out behind him       what spirit is not doubled                double double doublehelix here in
this wairua!            here in this place where rivers cross their streams          double double doublehelix
there can be a willing and whiling           and the spinning       dust devil           try it   Zoa got        the
magic    collage an engorged penis over the         union jack and            be done with it             to
blow those fucking         white. slave. owning. rapists.    right off the          face of Maunga so
many-spirited           you’d think all the ancestors showed up              to cuss them out        

Echidna and The Spider

for Michelle Rahurahu


the wharepaku disguised by hills in a whitewashed town next to the sea   the
first time in a long time that   Echidna has heard the gulls and smelt the
Moana       she’s spending time in the big city with its wrong turns and
billboards for    a life well lived       she ain’t alone      been travelling with
the Spider       dressed from head to toe in dark denim      Spider’s trying out
that goth lifestyle she missed as a kid        mascara for each of her eight
eyes       and that hot tino rangatiratanga look     with the flag taking pride
and place on her back              oi Waru Karu u trying to make web in there?   
Echidna cackles       the Spider just shouts     fuck off from the stall 
I’m taking a shit 
Echidna settles back swinging her tails         out behind her 

          / / / / / / / /

Echidna and the Spider both dislike           the same things
and that’s enough to love                            each other over

pointing at something awful and saying             it is full of awful-ness 
pulling out their own teeth                  and trading them in the dark 

          / / / / / / / /

Echidna and    the Spider are sitting 
in a car                 on the motorway
road works in South Auckland again    
crawling              over the roads 
crawling over the neoliberal solution
to issues of transportation  

Echidna is humming along to a song 
that she’s had stuck in her head for
years now          can’t remember the words

except for          red liquid      red liquid 
humming along to silence nothing playing
on the radio 
what does it mean wrapped around  
such a flat delivery

          / / / / / / / /

they play videogames in the small hours  
gamertags in the glow of the multimillion dollar graphical fidelity 
talking shit 
Ngā Hine Kaitākaro just ripping fake bodies to shreds 
in the perfect blooded light of the morning 
coloniser after coloniser just getting bullet 
after bullet                  highscoring in the glaze of the inside
the controller sticky with airplanes             and gummy bears           
when a surface clings to the palm           it makes sitting in this violence 
natural               why would you move                   why would you look away?

Echidna relaxing into the crumbed couch 
while the Spider does a million things at once 
signing ur all gonna die with her free hands 
the crackle of the speakers                  the radical imagination 
they both just laugh and laugh  

          / / / / / / / /

they’re sharing takeaways
next to the ocean 
bony butts on a park bench 
The Spider signs into the air
did you know liking hot chips makes you gay
Echidna smiles 
does it? 
there is just the sound of waves crashing 
and the newspaper rustling 
the grease making things


essa may ranapiri (Ngāti Wehi Wehi / Na Guinnich / Highgate) is a takatāpui poet from Kirikiriroa. They’re tired all the time and think that might just be depression lol fuck when will the change actually come?