Book cover for There's No Place Like the Internet in Springtime by Erik Kennedy

Erik Kennedy
There's No Place Like the Internet in Springtime
(Victoria University Press, 2018)

Response by Emma Natasha

Buy from Victoria University Press.

insightful, this.
and curiously
wholesome
(?)          

 
let me begin as designed
(at the very beginning):

The unknown story contains / all possible themes

     I hesitate to use the word; a fear it somehow
cheapens the experience. kindly know that is not
            my intention. if I have an intention.
 

There’s no place like the internet in springtime!
quite!

Everything foals a new thing like itself,
and old things are respectful in their pastures
and only argue over if it’s best
to let the snow melt or to make it melt.
Vapours turn to rainbows and are praised
while flowers breathe out oxygen for days.
Wait, am I thinking of the internet?

Oh, maybe not, but what I’m thinking of
is desperate and very, very like it.

it’s elegant
that comprehension
gently understanding that
the internet is made of sweet
eccentricities, that are not
always entirely valid
but seem to be
In which the reader learns that this story is told not from
forethought, but through a common chance of life.
in which I, the attempted reviewer, learns that this
story never needed forethought to be intelligible
 
it is curiously simple, in many ways, it doesn’t hurt, not in the usual way; perhaps I am jaded, perhaps I am accustomed to being flayed to pieces. instead I find myself like a cooked lobster, unaware of being boiled alive until I’m already dead
because the honesty aches, it just seeps in
(stains)

I do know that the urgency,
the panting urgency to finish,
without a deadline or a reason,
is what we call a ‘modern sickness’.

the urgency may be perceived
rather than realistic, but that
doesn’t prevent the curious
belief that it shouldn’t be
that we all want to be right
is it
is it?
But up! When you’re floating on your back
and you look up, for once it’s you
who’s drifting in relation to
                        I cannot tell you why I find this strikes into my heart
the sky. For once you listen
to yourself when no one else does.
but it just does
Even after fifteen years
I don’t know what I learned.
even after fifteen years
I still hope I’ll learn something
 
(but the hope is dying back)

You’ve been confused,
but you’ve never been lost.

I don’t know
I feel pretty lost

You don’t have to be told how valuable your time is, and that
includes your time on earth.

 
things we need to hear and
in many places sound
hackneyed. I’m
not sure if
it isn’t                    (but)

The question ‘Do you miss it?’ is unanswerable.
It’s obscene to say yes. It’s depressing to others to say no.
It’s inauthentic and invertebrate to say maybe.
“Do you miss them?” is something I am
often pressed to answer, and it is comforting
to know that no answers are right, all wrong.
  

When you’re happy you have a responsibility to those who                    no, I’m sorry, not me;
are unhappy                                        I reject paying obsequience to those less lucky than I
to do your best with it. Even if it ends badly.                      does that make me a bad person?
                                                                        it always ends badly, that’s the nature of things
                                                                                                                  it’s just a matter of time

The shame, at its work desk, busied itself
from the minute when the lights came on in town
to the hour when the lights went out in houses.
 
I cared
I cared
I cared
I cared
and I am ashamed
to feel that way, the
light of the city casting
a nasty grey pall on my
admittedly less than ideal
I swear I care(d)

 
 
thoughts

The question isn’t: Why is love so
strange here?
It’s: Why did it feel normal somewhere else?
oh, ouch
it has to be normal, here
it has to be feel normal, now

I’m thinking about, soon,
or maybe even next time,
communicating with you.

 
it’s not strange any more
 
I think about it all the time
but not this time, nor the next
will I dare to reach out; not yet

Let it gaze at you in that easy way the immortals have.
‘For you, eerie friend, I’ll never cry and never pity,’
you’ll say. And with the psychic energy you’ll save,
you can know yourself ten percent better or learn to keep bees.

this is to do with pets
by the way, given that
there’s no context but
either way: I choose
bees.
The things we write we transform:
I try not to transform the gentle sweetness of this
because I don’t have to

 

This is not democracy. This is a flood lasting no nights and
somehow lasting forty days.

a passing reference to those things I cannot bear to speak of
(it’s spoken of too often)
In the bleak midwinter
a theme, you see, a recurrent motif
In the bleak midwinter
I won’t forget this, I won’t ignore it
Whichever one you think you are, you’re the other.
I am another, so easily (too easily) forgotten
I cared, I cared, I cared, I cared.
there is so much to digest
there is so much to consider
I loved far too much, here
and I wish I hadn’t, but
I cared.

 

 

Emma Natasha Miles is writing trip reports from through the poetic weeds.