Illustration: Callum Devlin
Illustration: Callum Devlin

BooksNovember 15, 2019

The Friday Poem: TURDUCKEN by Freya Daly Sadgrove

Illustration: Callum Devlin
Illustration: Callum Devlin

A new poem by writer and performer Freya Daly Sadgrove.




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


From Head Girl by Freya Daly Sadgrove, forthcoming in February 2020 (VUP)

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