Erik Kennedy

The New Love Poetry Will Eat
The Old Love Poetry

Like American choirboys singing in English accents, we write love poems based on old models. The usual idea is to render the love object recognisable to anyone reading except the actual he or she being described. In fact, ‘he’ or ‘she’ hardly matters. The best stylists use the same tone and close-at-hand but disinterested, leering manner for their lovers that they use for a burning oil well or a SpaceX flight or a vintage carousel. By some reckonings, forty per cent of all poems are love poems, and every one contains the word ‘I’. The waterfall generates the mist that hangs in front of it; the poet is made of the same stuff as the song, supposedly. But you are more than a projection of me, and every thought that misses this is wrong.



Erik Kennedy is originally from New Jersey and now lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. In this hemisphere his poems have appeared in Catalyst, Landfall and Sport. He is the poetry editor of Queen Mob's Teahouse (