Digital Poetics #32: 4 Poems by Hatty Nestor
Spent the evening inside the palm of a rat
Who told me to be born from rape
Is not a curse
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
Revival is empowerment
Antigone told me
behind a silver lining –
the confession booth
purchased a double rope
strung it up
there is no such thing as out
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
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
I am too haunted by this psychic life
I am too young to sell my regality
there is dignity in surmounting to failure
That evening, after burning flowers
I look up in horror to see Antigone’s face in the mirror
Antigone’s burial, awakened.
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
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.