Diorama by Talia Marshall,

A listicle by Talia Marshall

I’m writing something that is not explicitly about being Māori for the first time in ages and it’s such a relief, here’s why:

1. Don’t have to think about who it will upset/not upset on Twitter

2. Don’t have to think about upsetting a relative

3. Don’t have to think about upsetting a dead witch or tohunga

4. Don’t have to think about upsetting someone not from my iwi

5. Don’t have to think about upsetting my iwi

6. Don’t have to make myself behave and stop myself from deliberately upsetting someone I don’t like for the sheer joy of it

7. Don’t have to fuck around with macrons because I still haven’t installed them on this ancient laptop

8. Don’t have to flick myself with water before and after every sentence to protect my wairua

9. Don’t have to care so bloody much before it’s even in the world

10. Don’t have to worry about being a pale fancy fraud

11. Don’t have to worry I’m a narcissist who calls it mahi and tries to speak for people

12. Me right now: Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

For further reading, two essays at ReadingRoom by Michaela Keeble and Lawrence Patchett grapple with the various agonies of Pākehā writing about Māori.

Talia Marshall (Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Rārua, Rangitāne ō Wairau, Ngāti Takihiku) is an Aotearoa-based writer and poet.

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