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BY THE BOOK

Re-verse I N T R O D U C E D BY H E R A L I N D S AY B I R D

I wanna kiss you and make you cry obviously I find you dangerously unsentimental in fact I worry that you might be harbouring a small violence in your daily life such as such as muttering insults at the elderly or writing scathing reviews of high school plays or like discreetly growing a tumour out of revenge I require you to learn from my softness otherwise I will accidentally learn your hardness ah you can’t talk about boys and hardness without thinking about you know and you have a really nice you know but that’s not the issue at hand so to speak not right now anyway come to my house later come to my house and I will put your issue in my hand it’s not exactly a problem that you don’t love me it’s just surprising : look at me I’m startlingly lovely not visually so much as theoretically I took a lot of cheap advice and now I love myself too much it offends the elderly and it bores the young and you it does something to you but you don’t like having things done to you so I stop doing it I just hover at your bedroom door not doing it Georgie Porgie by Freya Daly Sadgrove Published with permission

IN BRIEF I have been obsessed with Freya Daly Sadgrove’s poetry ever since she was a student in one of my writing classes, and we got drunk out the back of the church and she played me a song on the organ. She hasn’t published a collection yet, but it’s only a matter of time, and when she does it’s going to ruin everyone’s life.

BREAKDOWN

Hera Lindsay Bird is a poet from Wellington. Her first collection Hera Lindsay Bird was published from Victoria University Press in 2016, and her chapbook Pamper Me to Hell & Back came out with The Poetry Business in 2018.

I love Freya’s poetry for her disgusting sense of humour, her sharp emotional pivots and her simple but deadly honesty. There are so many good lines in this poem, like ‘discreetly growing tumour out of revenge’ and ‘I took a lot of cheap advice and now I love myself too much,’ but her sharp and self-deprecating sense of humour is always offset by vulnerability, like a delicious creamy pasta filled with razor-

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blades. My favourite lines in this poem, which I return to again and again are ‘I require you to learn from my softness otherwise/I will accidentally learn from your hardness.' How good and true this is, and how much I wish I could beam this poem back through time to my early twenties, although like all good lines in poetry, they are eternally relevant. And then to turn on her heels and make a dick joke out of it. I am like a cartoon chef, endlessly kissing my fingers. Anyone with half a brain can torture language until it comes out sounding highbrow and dripping with gravitas, but it’s a special kind of generosity to be able to say something so true and warm, and make it seem effortless. You can read some of Freya’s other poems in Mimicry and The Spinoff, but if you can, go and see her live. She’s the funniest live poet I’ve ever seen, and is worth it for the stage banter alone.

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