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Digital Poetics #32: 4 Poems by Hatty Nestor

Rat’s Fate

Spent the evening inside the palm of a rat

Who told me to be born from rape

Is not a curse

Nor fate

I flounder in the cracks of rat’s palm

Suffocated by indentation

only to prematurely

crawl out of the palm, frayed

The sedimented act of my becoming


such selves I no longer know

nor see


Antigone’s Resurrection

Revival is empowerment

Antigone told me

behind a silver lining –

the confession booth

one thousand

flowers bloom

purchased a double rope

strung it up

too short

there is no such thing as out

Antigone whispered

these flowers bloom so fast their state is always wilter

Instead, devour the rope into many threads

to make a maze in your mind

woven by time

body shrinks

they can take even this

to peel a grape and leave it bare

Antigone muttered: our future is a dark stain

where a weed might grow

even this little weed means nothing these days:

a blemish much of nothing

between feelings


I am too haunted by this psychic life

Yet -

I am too young to sell my regality

there is dignity in surmounting to failure

Antigone whispered


That evening, after burning flowers

I look up in horror to see Antigone’s face in the mirror

Antigone’s burial, awakened.


My Immunity

Auto (of immune) derives from the Greek autos – a reflexive pronoun – ‘self, same’; singular. To be of immune suggests a predetermined state of self that precedes the current state of now. To be autonomous is to be self-sufficient, to be autonomous is to be singular.

Immune – (of autoimmune) is to be ‘free, exempt’ from Latin immunis, ‘to change, go move’. To be of the same self, which can change and move, the body’s fluctuation is not static. It is always changing – a porous, mutable corporeality – not a fixed state or a diagnosis, or a quantifiable set of quotas resulting in an absolute state.

The term is paradoxical, whilst also being a sentiment, which can be lost and eroded with time. Enduring this ‘immune’ time is what the common person is summoned to do; draining the life of different change or chance from each encounter or embodiment. It is with this waiting that we find nowhere else to go, existence, they say.

Sometimes there is nothing to write after with illness; the luxury of distance is merely a fiction. It is becoming clearer than I felt no relief when you spoke of the autoimmune. The telling me who I will be served little purpose; it did not assist.


Her Fresh Trimmings

Late afternoon, I like to pinch my waist

Back and forth like mutter of lamb

Corsets contain the chest and stomach, quite nicely

Harder to manipulate

I squish the little rolls back

uncooked sausage

Desperately wanting to overflow from the constraint

I take myself out for dinner

The waiter serves me pate

A mashed up body

Don’t question which corset exploded

On the body of a pig

many pigs in corsets (how revealing)

To make this

Fresh trimmings? I ask the waiter

One roll on my stomach, one roll in my mouth

A strange marriage


Hatty Nestor is a writer, critic and poet. She has been published in The White Review, The Times Literary Supplement, Frieze, and many other publications. Her book Ethical Portraits (2021) is forthcoming with Zero Books. She is currently working on a book about suspended time and chronic pain.


This publication is in Copyright. Hatty Nestor, 2021.

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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