I blow my body around like          the huge clump of brown hair

that I once saw blowing up Cuba Street

     I follow its movements with interest

     I put a video of it on the internet


     my favourite brag

is that a groundskeeper once told me I was the whole package—

good bants good body he said

     he also said I was a piece of ass     and then apologised immediately—

said he’d never called anyone that before     put his head in his hands


     I use up my body like bait     I keep my body in a bucket

     I keep a bucket by my bed

     once after boning a drug dealer     the drug dealer asked me

to read him a bedtime story          I read him the whole of The Velveteen Rabbit

then he thanked me kindly and went to sleep


     I remember everything—

it’s one of my bad habits


     I remember a nurse once tried to convert me

to Christianity in a hospital bathroom

just after I’d done a shit........................job     of trying to kill myself

     at first I misheard her          I thought she said the thing that saved her life

was finding gold          I laughed and laughed in her arms

then I stopped and said     wait


     I’m much better at suicide jokes than I am at dying

and I’m not even that good at suicide jokes     so I may be immortal

     my jokes are very cheap     just like me

but I can’t help it—I’m on the benefit—the sickness benefit

     my sense of humour is in itself   a sickness benefit         it is my right


     I suppose I’m a new bigot     in that I spread hate—

but the hate that I spread is bespoke—

it’s artisanal baby          bad poetry is my small business

with the brand statement : a little self-loathing goes a long way : like

don’t go for a jog          do not do     a face mask          don’t take a bath


     I put my body in a bath once

     I sat in the bath and ate a bag of Twisties

     the Twisties were orange     which is normal for Twisties

     the bathwater was also orange     which is not normal for bathwater

but I had used an orange bath bomb     which was a way of pushing the boat out

     my body is a boat     no

     my body is a car in the sea with a drowned thing inside

and they talk about bodies of water

and they talk about the body of a car

     my body is a car in the sea with a drowned thing inside

     my body’s in a body and a body’s in me

     do I need to say it....................turducken

     no     I did not need to say it

     my body is a car with a drowned thing inside

pulled up and away from the sucking sea floor by a crane

     my body is unswallowed and dangling above the water

dripping orange drips


     I remember everything

but my body always tells it wrong

which is a terrible betrayal :

the nurse said I was lying when I said she had tried

to sell god to me in the bathroom

     I wasn’t

but my body was too tired to convince anyone

Image of Freya Daly SadgroveFreya Daly Sadgrove is a writer and performer from Pōneke. Her first poetry collection, Head Girl, was published in February with Victoria University Press. She is the architect behind Show Ponies, hailed by Janis Freegard as a new bar for poetry.

Daly Sadgrove comments: The only thing I want to say about this poem is that – in case you aren’t familiar with the concept – a Turducken is a dish consisting of a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. I have never tasted Turducken, but if it were offered to me I wouldnt say no.

​Poem source details >


Freyas website

Victoria University Press author page

Photographer credit: Ebony Lamb