Metatron Prize


for Rising Authors

 

 

 

Maija Ekey

pythoness

 

 

 

 

 

Maija Elizabeth Ekey is a writer & artist living in Pāhoa, Hawai’i. Maija holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Science in Teaching from Pace University. She has published work with Women.Weed.WiFi, Perennial Press, DOLLFEEDER, Recenter Press, Girls Get Busy, Arteidolia Press, & Bluestockings Magazine. Her visual work has been exhibited globally.

 

Who are you?

i am maija, which roughly translates to "beautiful illusion," or "of the sea." frequent astral traveler occasionally trying to tone it down a bit. an expression of the whole, influenced by that which has grown me, namely, Baltimore, NYC, & the Big Island. 

 

What is your book about?

at its core, pythoness is about love. it is an ode to dreams & the way things went in some other timeline. it is also medicine; an anecdote for the depths of a season & a willing departure into the darkness with an awareness of the candlelight in the distance. it is about the process, the specificity of a moment, the people we have been, & the impulse to look outside of ourselves for meaning & clarity. ultimately, pythoness is about a flash in time outside of time which asks of us healing, fluidity, awareness, & unattached interpretation. 

 

Could you tell us a bit about the process of writing this book?

pythoness emerged out of a deep moment of transition. i had just left a five-year teaching career with the NYC DOE & suddenly had the time & space to process & explore my inner world in detail. most of pythoness was written in 2018-2019 in the form of journal entries, phone notes, & an extensive Word doc for when the pace felt accelerated. essentially, i spent several months hermiting in my Ridgewood, Queens apartment, smoking lots of ouid, spastically collaging/painting the walls of my kitchen, writing, & watching daily sunsets on the roof. 

 

eventually, i eased into the process of refining & editing. the pieces that were meant to take the form of pythoness jumped out clearly & in time found their own order. this felt much like an integration process – sitting with what has arisen, parsing out the gems, sifting through & finding an aligned arrangement, and finally, honoring the process & shape that has emerged. 

 

i was held throughout this period by a team of other artists that informed, read, edited, & spent time with the words that came to be pythoness. they were also on the receiving end of crisis calls when the money ran out, the heart kept breaking, or the mold in the bathroom came back after the umpteenth round of scrubbing. i'll be cheesy & say this creation would not have come into full form without the hearts & minds of Ciena Leshley, Randee Silv, Sam Anacker, Eliza Gilmore, Tola Brennan, Lauren Mettler, & EE Watts, to name a few. woof it's been a journey. mahalo my dudes. 

 

What are some books you’ve read and enjoyed lately and/or books that influenced the writing in your submitted work?

The Three Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, was a great influence during the writing of pythoness. Cixin's ability to fluidly jump through time & space while maintaining thematic threads inspired me to confidently traverse a wide range of settings & stories with a sense of cohesion & ease. 

 

Good Morning, Midnight, by Jean Rhys, was also a godsend during the incubation period & birth of pythoness. Rhys' writing lucidly highlights the beauty & transcendental nature of loneliness, isolation, & the strange depths of the human psyche. sentences of hers send me into trance states for days. Rhys shows pain to be noble, worthy, & utterly necessary for a life well-lived.

 

other notable reads during this time were Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research, by Stanislov Grof, & Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman, by Malidoma Patrice Somé. 

 

recently, i got lost in Carlos Castaneda’s The Art of Dreaming, which left me eating drool-worthy cookies in my dreams & spiraling about shapeshifters. at the moment i’m enjoying Olaf Stapledon’s Odd John, Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, & i’ve been looking forward to picking up Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery from the post office this week.  

 

How would you describe your book using emojis only?

✨🌹🧄🕸🪲🐌🖤🍄🐚🍓🌸🌷✨

 

Anything else you'd like to share?

a quote from Liu Cixin's Death's End, the third book in The Three Body Problem series;

 

“And now we know that this is the journey that must be made by every civilization: awakening inside a cramped cradle, toddling out of it, taking flight, flying faster and farther, and, finally, merging with the fate of the universe as one. The ultimate fate of all intelligent beings has always been to become as grand as their thoughts.”

 

 

 

 

 

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PYTHONESS

[EXCERPT]

 

 

if  yu  want  it

 

totality &nd movement
& n d  the  law  of  one
b l i ss ful   sur ren d er
audible befr it is visible

 

 

                                                                                                           in an old victorian house that i think belongs
                                                                                                           to the parents of someone i am dating
                                                                                                           i go up the stairs and there is a shallow tub
                                                                                                           of liquid that you apply to body parts
                                                                                                           &nd it tells you if energy is flowing based
                                                                                                           on the color that comes up when it is applied

 

                                                                                                           i dip one arm in and it is teal one arm is rose
                                                                                                           most of my chest and torso are rose and so
                                                                                                           are arms & legs  save one muddy thigh

 

                                                                                                           my boyfriend comes in as i am trying to
                                                                                                           document the results  looking in a mirror
                                                                                                           thinking how good my body looks
                                                                                                           he says we should photograph it and his
                                                                                                           parents agree we are late to something but
                                                                                                           everyone seems to think this is more
                                                                                                           important

 

 

                                               collect  evidence &nd  continue
                                               moving up the vibrational scale
                                               broadcast what you           want
                                               t  u  n  e    to   th     c h a n n e l
                                               live in  the vibration of wonder

 

 

every time i am there someone feels like you as if to signify i am in the right place and you are
always around                           light in the closet just went off but there is no light in the closet

 

 

 

 

endurance is key

 

the men of this wrld will have you believe they contain guilt         what we have been shown but
tend to forget is that this guilt is a carefully constructd mechanism      a microprocessor emitting
nightshade that appeals to a general audience               a way to flip it on its side and show yu yr
reflectun as a lesser of two evils         now there are orchids blooming thru the cracks onc a yr &
we are left to sit alone in front of our tv that is turned off and wndr             i have alwys cringed
at the violence  the incst  the objcts floatng in and out of my periphery    searching regardless fr
the stuff  i believed i would find aftr all

                                                                                                                                  but all i did ws endure

 

                          i watchd the men around me emit terrifyng noises at a crsh on the screen and fell into
                          myself wunderng why i could not produce such a         pwrfl noise
                          what would become of me if i failed

 

 

                                                                      falling into a figure8 and drifting away on cnyn rvr rpds     

                                                                      round and round agn                   i am called many things

                                                                      by many ppul                         i learnd to paint my face to

                                                                      cntrl the noise                then calculatd the time spnt &nd

                                                                      fell into a sorrw of a half century            rising as a ghost

                                                                      an anonymous author whose preservation i fought  for as

                                                                      a senile librarian in 1931

 

 

we spend so much reflctng on time spent  undr  th thumb

we forgt we forged lives after th sky broke                &nd

we allowd the light to come rushing in                  formng

frctals at every surface                      repeating the process

allowing awe to be the only f  ling                                                                  

 

i transfrmd myself into a pastel object causing polarized emotions for specific purpos                   

not every life is the one        i tell myself   

 

                                                                      sitting on a bench in central park

                                                                      things here exist regardless of time   

​​​​​​​                                                                       i have submitted to the city

​​​​​​​                                                                       i will be here after th fall &nd before th gr8 war

 

 

​​​​​​​                                           sometimes i remember to be somewhere when i am supposd to be

​​​​​​​                                           of course it doesn t always work out          &nd then i wondr more

 

 

 

pylon

 

caroline  is   picking  flowers     &nd    tying   them  into   knots

i put them around her head &nd we spin around         till we fall

she is a mom in another story  she says she has learned so much

if      it        allows      for      reflection       it      is           enough

 

 

​​​​​​​                                           where yu  want  to be  is

​​​​​​​                                           unfoldng in everyone els

​​​​​​​                                           f o r g e  &nd     let it fall

 

i set thm off &nd we watch a str shw rflctd in th sky

mist  i n t e r m i n g l e s    &nd  th  spots   convulse

all   there   is   to    do     now      is        lie       down

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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