Sick as Poetry: text by Bragg and Aoake for Salient Women’s Issue

Sick as Poetry was written by Hana Pera Aoake and Jordana Bragg for our partners at Salient publication for the Women’s Issue, 2016. The text layout was designed by Ella Bates-Hermans, which you can view in high resolution version here.

Sick as Poetry: Women's Issue

Publication layout courtesy of Salient.


Sick as Poetry

I remember this feeling of wanting to suffocate my body.

His eyes were leering at me watching my breasts grow

You learn when ur young that u perform all the emotional and domestic labour

Competing against other women

Learning and unlearning

Gearing towards marriage and erasing ur māoriness and ur queerness to be desired and used by men who are just ‘nice guys’.

Hide in the whiteness to be desired

White skin, brown bones, brown soul

Trauma melted into your bones

The very young girl

Lily Rose Depp on Instagram

Idealised body

Projected fantasy

Fetishized other

Feeling exhausted watching other women fight for the attention of men

seeking validation in being desired.

Someone u love having sex with u when ur too drunk and high to say anything

Being told by ur entire friend group that ‘blurred lines don’t exist’.

Having your identity erased over and over again

White passing pania of the reef

Queer invisibility

Pania of the digital reef

Oppression olympics

Blood dissipating in the water.

Pain like knives vibrating in your womb.

Blood everywhere.

Having a miscarriage when u didn’t even realise u were pregnant.

Thinking about the Tatu video for all the things she said at age 13 then masturbating then crying

Carrying a knife from age 11

Keys between my knuckles

In my togs bending over while blood gushed out of my body

The horror of your alien body

Cyborgization procedure by 2021

A weight pulling my body down

Oxygen slowly disappearing from my body

Let’s not do this tonight

9.20am 20/06 tell me I’m beautiful

2.58pm 23/6 Let’s not do this on facebook

Link attached Five Ways to Make a Woman Feel Really Loved

Small talk in all small thing

Five ways to say how wasteful

How tasteless

Days on end like this

You smell like sex and my ex boyfriend and potpourri and you look

like you smell like spearmint

Sorry I romantically idealised you

within an inch of my life last night

Find any letter box you seem to like

I like the metal ones that catch rain

like they’re oily, for instance,

Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures

what I really want to read is the clickbait

who was he wearing who was he dating

when he wrote that

Really is something

If I could be a rock in a pond or the pond

I guess I would have to be the pond, well, because I’m afraid of open bodies of water and if I was the rock I would be terrified,

but if I was the pond, seems natural to me to be afraid of yourself

Room To Move is a Two sided Thing

My most recent google search for

the definition of auto erotic asphyxiation

Mt Hikurangi is the only place I might feel clean and even then I’m never there

I have never been

My first girlfriend and I first kissed

in a tiny tin shed in the dark

in Palmerston North in the home

and garden section

in the warehouse, my mum waited

in the car, I hated the heat of it

And she handed it back to me handle to me, blade to herself

Excitable and entitled teens

Raupo taranga, rengarenga, putaputaweta all beautiful things I’ve apologised to

for falling into drunk

5:56pm 8/10 no lol

5:58pm 8/10 i mean, no, 0 libido

Sick as Poetry: Women's Issue

Front cover of Women’s Issue, Courtesy of Salient.

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