Nyx, goddess and embodiment of Night, was there at the very beginning, occupying that slippery place where beginning and ending are something the same. Born of chaos, she is often conflated with it. The crevice between days we measure on a calendar, Nyx heralds a ritual return to the primordial, a time outside of order and moving forward. We are no longer nocturnal animals.


In the shadow of Nyx, the things we ‘know’ start to lose their distinction in a crumbling of certainties. Night is our first fear, and remains the realm of returning anxieties. There is fear of the unknown we know, and of the unknown we don’t know. To ‘nix’ is to cancel, to remove from knowledge, and so to throw us into the dark, unable to navigate the hazards around us, causing us to imagine further hazards, other enemies.


And yet Nyx, essential as sleep, is no plain villain. She is one side of balance, giving way repeatedly, like pulse or breath, to daylight. A background goddess, like the sound of the tides, she is not beautiful but definitively sublime, a stunning reminder of our destructibility. She stands, veil-like, between us and the unfathomableness of nothing, allowing us to feel something of it before burying our senses into her like children. She sends us to bed, vulnerable and dreaming.


Nyx is our own world made unfamiliar, partly dissolved, emptied of what makes us sure. Inside a chrysalis it is night, the terrifying break down and reorganisation, the pause between destruction and creation. There is no wall between night and day, but an opening.  


Abridged is looking for poetry and art on the edge of the abyss, on the fear of the darkness, on our realities failing us, on the world as is. You can send up to three poems and five pieces of art. Submissions should be sent to abridged@ymail.com with poetry being in MS Word or similar format and art in JPEGs or similar. Put your name and info on the email otherwise we might think it’s spam (and because it’s polite!). Deadline is 08th November. There is no fee for submitting. 

Image by Tony Fouhse: https://www.tonyfoto.com/
Abridged is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.