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Digital Poetics #11 Anyway, the birds live: Hannah Regel


I’ll be speaking aloud you say, so ignore me

Then you shut the door and open a valve

In the beginning I felt something

Subversive like glee. Sable-black, unteachable

Now my lung aches the news

I address my reflection: Hello Dad,

Have you removed yourself sufficiently?

He says yes but I don’t believe him

I can see wind circles on his bald head

His colleague interrupts covered in snow

Blowing a great horn. Like Nastassja Kinski

My eye films glaze the booth, “I just don’t think

I’m the one you wanna talk to.”


I pee before eating in an unscientific attempt

To be empty. Weight is the first danger

The final protest. Picking for seeds and twigs

I want to be small enough to be carried, remembered

That is all I live for

To be made miniature

By the gravity of your fancy and buried

In the lap (as for the future)

Your memory hefts us apart

I try to bridge it with texts and then with telling

But your brain remains indifferent

It is how you managed to build such a big castle

In the first site of family, all women, applause

No one would dare to call your worn in will déjà vu

I cannot warn

About misunderstanding

To you, everyone is unnamed. Getting in the way

Of your mouthful stories. To repeat the sequence

I have married into the talking cure sideways

I am so much worse than the analysts’ daughter, now

I am the dealer’s wife

But I am not unhinged

I have a cock-eyed stare at things

Furrowing the howed brow of not fair

Into the hole of an 8 ball

What a thin slice of crap

One of these days I’ll get organised

Make gleaning thought fulfilling again

Be obsessed. But who can think at a desk

They say that angels are the spaces between things

(a tissue, a tissue)

My heart gives way to the roof.


Rolled up, my drunkenness lives

Tight beneath my clothes

An extra limb, it flops out

Onto the table sometimes

When my inhibitions go and they do

Inside learning that first stain

All stains being farcical/Babies walking

Breasts puffed up, shoulders wagging

And who could be prouder?

The waste that is luxury

The loaf left unwrapped

Hard little bites.


At Dinner

I reach for what is beyond

The silly mark of my life

Like a dropped rock

Speaking. He

Judgemental as a child

Shuts me up with the swiftness

Of tossing a salad,

“I can’t be interested

In your exercises at what if”

I take the olive pip from my mouth

And plug his ear with it.


Birds are ugly but that is not why I kill

I didn’t see the eggs, I say

I didn’t know the twigs had purpose

I have put rubbish all over what I did not know

Cigarette ends, stray hair and bottle caps

A casserole dish

You just don’t think he says you never think

It’s true I never think!

Anyway, the birds live

So no one needs my mind.


Hannah Regel co-edited of the feminist art Journal SALT. from 2012-2019. She has two published collections of poetry,When I Was Alive and Oliver Reed (both Montez Press, 2017 and 2020).


This publication is in Copyright. Hannah Regel, 2020.

The moral right of the author has been asserted. However, the Hythe is an open-access journal and we welcome the use of all materials on it for educational and creative workshop purposes.

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