Nestor The Communist

Nestor couldn’t explain to the guys he wasn’t a communist. The boys were on fire, and this could easily have been an understatement. All three of them reminded him of Trotsky. Nestor knew that in normal circumstances this statement would have made no sense; he knew their passion rather than physical appearance made them look like Trotsky. Even so, he couldn’t escape the notion. He thought he really might become a communist just by looking at them, if he only tried harder. But his education and habits were too bourgeois and it was not expected that a man of his age would easily deny himself the cozy and carefree life he was used to. The position of a sales agent in a company that distributes care skin products didn’t bring him millions, but he had some savings that he inherited when his parents died, and they also left him an apartment in city center. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to think of one’s life as a life of convenient existence. Among other things, his lifestyle enabled him to write. But come to think of it, quitting writing might be a better idea; words put him in this strange situation where he has to explain to these armed rebels he is not one of them and that it would be great if they would just let him go.

Nestor’s poem was published this Wednesday in a literary magazine. It was a poem about a beatiful red flower (a poppy, perhaps, but he wasn’t completely sure) that Nestor noticed when he was buying salad at a marketplace. This magazin (Poetry was the name) was popular only among poetry enthusiasts, and the poem wasn’t even that good. For goodness’ sake, it was a mere description of a flower, and God knows flowers don’t support revolutions. On Saturday they knocked on his door, put him in the car and brought him to this dump, God knows where. ‘I am not a communist, trust me! I would be a lousy one, trust me’. Didn’t help much, they wanted him really bad.

Nestor shuffled, seated, surrounded by the boys in the car, watching them flame, glaring, staring in the distance, as though they drove as a unit. As though they drove the car by not speaking, and that the motor required their collective silence and seriousness to work. They moved through space, four human beings, but by no means a quartet. Their grouping could not be defined by numbers, Nestor thought, for he was the odd one here. Only one of the boys actually had the physical appearance of Trotsky. But then Nestor thought he didn’t know what Lenin, or Stalin, looked like when they were young. Only young Trotsky he had in his mind. Why? Because he had been ice picked in the head in Mexico by a KGB agent. The pick had not killed him immediately, but he died of this wound. Sobering, Nestor thought. Maybe he should have written a poem about that? Elliptically. At least a description of the needle like pick, lifted from the mosquito. The oak handle. The Mexican heat. The poetry community would love that. They love details, Nestor thought. They love details and flowers. Maybe the flower in his own poem was an ice pick? But red? Ah yes, after the attack. Yes. The brakes of the car interrupted Nestor’s critical appreciation of his own work. The boys had stopped for another passenger.

Nestor waited awkwardly in the car. He wasn’t a communist but he also wasn’t stupid. If he left the car now, god knows what those guys would do to him. Come to think of it, he still wasn’t quite sure why they put him in the car in the first place. Were they getting rid of communists? Were the looking for communists? The boys sure looked communist, so maybe they’re getting rid of capitalists?

Nestor continued to think about these questions as another person was dragged into a car. An attractive young women, probably in her mid twenties.

“Hi, are you a communist?” asked Nestor.

“Yes” she replied “and you don’t look like one”.

A familiar face entered the car – it was Grutowsky, a poet that specialized in short poems and haiku, famous among literates for his hermetic style and phonetic tricks. What did this gentleman do wrong? Even if Nestor asked him, Grutowsky wouldn’t be able to answer – he was pale, every capillary on his face fought to escape the epidermis. ‘That’s what they mean when they say ‘scared to death’’, Nestor thought ‘but who knows, maybe this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy in an hour or two, when these barbarians hang us from a tree by to the road.’

Nestor tried to remember what he knew on his colleague poet. There was nothing interesting about his civic image, and on the field of literature he was more of a poser than an authentic author, if you ask Nestor. Suddenly it occurred to him –Grutowsky’s poetry collection was published last month. Wee Hours , that’s the name, and it’s possible (hermeneutically unlikely, but still possible) to read it in the key of working class struggle. On the other hand, with a little bit of imagination everything could be read as revolutionary poetry, and if everything is revolutionary poetry, then there’s no revolutionary poetry at all.

‘That’s it!’, he realized ‘they can’t beat this logic, all I have to do is explain this misunderstanding and we’ll be free’. He was about to start talking when the car stopped; the guys went out and opened the door.


Original poem by Nestor Spears published in Poetry magazine

A poppy is a poppy is a poppy.

You are so pretty you make my eyes pop.
You are so lovely you make the time stop.

Was trying to buy salad at the marketplace,
but all i see is you you you.
You left me without an embrace,
but now I’m high with your opium love its true, true true.

Baby hit me one more time with that sweet sweet smell of yours,
you are so swell you made my hearth change course.

Equally spread the seeds.
Through revolution my soul bleeds.

Red is the blood in my veins,
Toxic with your love like planes.

Oh baby baby, how was i supposed to know
That you and only you could make my world glow.

A poppy is a poppy is a poppy.

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Nestor’s notes for Poppy:

petals oppose

you move with purpose

but where are you going (growing)

  1. this doom is patiently waiting for us
  2. love steals you with knuckles
  3. “Watch your dreams tonight,” threatens a magpie
  4. what rhymes with magpie? eye sky lie sigh guy thigh

Meet Ken At 10


right to another’s property

Oat ‘cream’

Oat cream is delicious mixed into coffee or tea as well as on desserts. To make about 350ml, tip 50g rolled oats into a heatproof bowl, cover with 300ml boiling water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes. Pour the contents of the bowl into a blender, add two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and blend until smooth. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within seven days. Shake well before use.

the cavalry are not coming.

Soon after Grutowsky entered the car, the men bagged all three of them.

Grutowsky was the first to try and convince their captors.

“Look gentlemen, I’m but a poet. A simply poet who describes flowers and trees. I write about the sky and the sea; there’s nothing communist about me!”

“Shut it fatass” yelled the man behind the wheel. “I don’t give a shit about your poetry, I just know I gotta get you in this car. Talk again and I’ll make sure you never write again”.

Grutowsky shut up and Nestor, who was about to say something, shut up in advance.

“Pigs! Bourgeois pigs!” yelled the woman “You will never succeed! We might die but our spirit will not! We will simply become martyrs for the future of mankind!”

“You too, you broad, shut the fuck up” yelled the man in the front passenger seat “Don’t make me come and do…”

“Do what, huh? Too shy are you huh? Or are you scared? Not too scared to swear, not too scared to kidnap, but too scared to say what you want to do to me huh? Useless men, bourgeois scum!”

Holy shit, thought Nestor, this lady’s mad. She’s got guts.

“Just shut up” replied the man. The woman spat. They all sat silently for a couple of minutes.

“What about the third one back there, you got anything to say?” asked the driver

“Who? Me?” replied a shocked Nestor. Did they want to interrogate him? Was this his chance to prove he wasn’t a communist?

“Yeah you. Those two have said something, come on we’re in for a long ride, make it interestin’”

Nestor thought for a minute. What could he say that would make them rethink their positions.

“I’m um…I’m a poet, like Grutowski over there…but I’m not very successful. Maybe I’ll read you one I remember off by heart?”

Everyone grunted, but no one said no. So he began:

“Oh Nestor, you are such a good poet” The attractive young communist woman, probably in her mid twenties said after Nestor was done reading. She continued “You make me blush, i find you so…hot” She leaned in closer towards Nestor, her warm breath with the smell of mint touched his face and her big bosom pressed against his shoulder. He started sweating, his mouth dried up.

”I cant believe it" Nestor thought to himself, "i mean i knew don’t i wasn’t too bad, but could my poetry have this effect on women? I have to start reciting my poetry more.”

The communist lady abruptly paused her rubbing agains Nestor and exclaimed; “Wait, Am i really supposed to say: take me right now, take me in the back of this car” she seemingly said it directed to a camera or a god. “BHahaHAHAhahahahaha” she burst out in a fake demonstrative laughter. ”This is so stupid!! Every-time is the same, who writes these things anyway?? I am done playing the role of the hot girl without fear with male attributes cause thats the only thing men respect, DONE! I AM OUT OF HERE!! STOP THE CAR!!!"

The driver stopped the car immediately, as if Nestor wasn’t confused before, this whole situation made him even more confused and at the same time strangely aroused.

She leaned in towards him again: "By the way Nestor, your poetry really REALLY sucks. You should give up this carrier, its not the right path for you. Make something useful of yourself instead. Roll a burrito or something” She stepped out of the car and slammed the door. She was gone.

“Why does she get to leave?” protested a very angry Grutowsky “She’s actually, actually a communist! Actually one! Honest to god Stalinist, worships Marx, hates Capitalism. I am a simply poet, I mean no harm to you or me, but she does and you let her leave?”

“Shut your yapping” said the driver “we didn’t want her in here anyway. Hey, tell the boss we couldn’t get her yeah? Nothing about this whole poetry spiel”

“Got it” replied Nestor.

“Shut up not you. Why the fuck would I be asking you. Use your goddamn brain poet”

“Got it” replied Nestor.

The car began to move again and everyone sat in silence. No longer was Nestor asked to share his poetry, and to be honest that was probably for the best. Everyone had had just about enough.

Though the way in which Communist’s define ‘enough’ differs for those pursuing other kinds of ideology. Enough is a capitalist concept, or so she muttered, and then aimed to extend the conversation. For the sake of the cause. Because it had to be shown to the goons how far one had to go. To make Nestor speak further on the subject of poetry, his influences and then recite more poems. For what could be worse? What could cut them to the quick quicker?

So who are your major influences, Nestor, would you say? Maybe you could tell us a bit about Vladimir Mayakovsky? Is he on Poetry magazine?

As the Trotsky crew was reading Nestor’s poem followed by notes to Nestor and Grutowsky, the poets were sitting still and trying to figure out where the catch was. There was no need to wonder, because an explanation was coming right up. ‘Funny feeling’, Nestor thought, ‘when someone interprets your own words’.

‘Well, it’s pretty clear, isn’t it?’, Number 1 asked.

‘Yes, it’s so obvious, even a fool would get the message.’, replied Number 2.

‘It’s all here – the symbols of opium, blood, then there’s the recipe… Yes, it’s all very clear.’, reitarated Number 3 and explained the whole thing more thoroughly. ‘As one can easily conclude, the red flower – namely, the poppy – symbolizes communist revolution, and the revolution is explicitly mentioned as well. We can see how the working class man bleeds, his soul bleeds, oppressed by the burgeoisie. But the poppy, that took the place of a very middle-class rose, promises that the world will indeed change!’

‘That’s right, Number 3! Furthermore, one doesn’t have to be a genius to realize that the oat ‘cream’ stands for Molotov – if you only change the ingredient, you will be able to make the cocktail!’, added Number 1.

'We are not quite sure about the cavalry, though, but we hope you can explain!, Number 2 was looking straight into Nestor’s eyes. ‘You see, we know that you are on our side, and that’s exactly why we want you to join the Party and become one of the leaders of the Movement!’

Nestor was puzzled and shocked. Even so, he couldn’t deny that this interpretation – even though it was extremely political – cast a new light on his poetry. His vanity was satisfied.

Number 2 took pieces of paper from his jacket. ‘As for you, Grutowsky, our council has analyzed your work as well.’ He read one poem from Grutowsky’s last collection out loud.

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Dominik Grutowsky

“You’re not a communist” said Number 1.

“Not at all” replied Number 2.

Grutowsky sighed in relief. “See! I told you I’m a simple poet, not a communist at all!”

“You’re right” said Number 3. “Not at all”

There was a soft click coming from the front seat.

Nestor had a feeling that click was not a nice click.

“The grey figures are covered in red. The policemen look on. There are no names says the officer’s report. What do you think that means?” asked Number 3. “You, Nestor. Comrade poet of the revolution, what do you think that means?”

“Um” Nestor thought “um.”

“There are no wrong answers” said 2 “Especially not from you Nestor”

“Um” Nestor kept thinking “the…men…wore red?”

“A symbol of the revolution!” exclaimed all three goons

Grutowsky was not having some half-assed communist poet with no idea of how to string a metaphor together analyze his poem for him. “Now hold on just a minute, don’t I get to -” Number Three stuffed a sock into Grutowsky’s mouth.

“You don’t get to say anything, class traitor” Three said “You’re lucky you’re still alive.”

“Policemen look on” mumbled Two. “Tell me, did the policeman have a gun? Did it look like this?”

The barrel looked straight at the sock in Grutowsky’s mouth.

In the garden

Once again, early in the morning red tulips have blossomed

In the garden.

It’s wrapped in red, our modest garden.

Oh, mother, do you know the name of the flower –

This gentle, red flower in our garden.

The name of the flower, my dearest love
Is Sweet Leader

The name of the soil, my dearest one
Is Anthracite in the Furnace

The name of the Orchid which blocks out the sun,
Is The Reckoner

The name of the egg, my child, my child,
Is Do Not Publish the Findings

The name of the Claw Hammer, my tiny soldier,
Is The Beautician

The fallen petals are tanks on the lawn
This bright morning
Keeping the Rabble in Line
If it blossoms on the vine

This is how the story might end:

„Revolution is finally over. Communists have suffered heavy losses. To their fallen comrades they now sing a song of pride and fire. There’s important work ahead of us – we have to restore our society, we have to plant a new seed of brotherhood, of comradeship, of peace. Strong, white light is ahead of us, showing us the way.

There’s the light and this light has a name – Nestor.

Nestor leads the way to the new world, the world where laws are written in sonets.

There are people behind him; they are singing:

The name of the flower, my dearest love

Is Sweet Leader

The name of the soil, my dearest one…

The barley is shaken by the wind. There are no more clouds – just a bright light of humanity that has finally brought the peace.“

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When was it that Nestor became a communist?

When did he become a hero to the new nation?

Nestor was not born a communist, nor was he a communist at the time of his capture by the secret police. They had thought that he was and they had the poems to prove it, but Nestor had denied and denied.

Was it later when they reached the underground chambers of the revolution that his mind changed?
Was Nestor, our glorious leader, somehow inspired by the spirit of the working class?
Did his heart and mind become red with blood and thoughts surging towards a new equal tomorrow?

Nestor, our great leader, did then rally the troops with his words.

“I’m not a Communist” he yelled “I just want to be free!”

and there Nestor sat, Emperor of the communists. Such an odd monarchy it was. So he sat on his throne waiting for the dragon to appear and then one night in the dead of the dark he had a dream.

At first it made him want to scream, so big and scary she appeared, but nothing was as he had hoped or feared. She licked her claws like a cat and began to explain, matter of fact.

“It is anarchy that we require,
because it is freedom we all desire.”

Nestor replied, " but things would be a mess!"

And then she said, "perhaps it is for the best.
We are all apart of a social consciousness,
a family of sorts,
tend to the land and her people and the sky
and then you will have no more need to ask why.

It is not for one who desires control,
or one who desires escape to hold
the fate of all and the dead,
now sleep dear Nestor, rest your head."

And Nestor slept peacefully, awaiting the morning, for he knew what needed to be done. All people were to have agency, no matter the initial shock they would get, learning that they have power enough to create a better world.

Henceforth did Nestor pace day and night in thought. He had to get out, but he had to get out with all of his comrades. He did not think of them as comrades for, even though needlessly, he still denied being a communist. But he loved his fellow workers and they looked up to him - looking up to him was a novel feeling for a lowly poet like Nestor.

One day, they crowned him. A crown of nails, screws and hammerheads. It was heavy and unsightly but a crown nonetheless. He had become King of the Communists. He had been crowned in his sleep and was still yet unsure what any of this meant but he knew, inside if anything, that he had to help his citizens.

The following morning, he got up and recited a rallying poem to commemorate his newfound position.