Out on the pleasure pier on that benign afternoon,
the air heavy with the blossom of vinegar and old tyres,
you asked what was the closest I had come to death.
Another Beautiful Day Indoors is more likely to end with a dark flood than a beautiful sundown. As these poems grapple with climate catastrophe, precarious labour, and love, they draw on the full, rich weirdness of the human-made world, with its self-driving cars, official geese and open-plan offices modelled on heaven. A sequence of magical realist short fictions explore ‘essential work’; elsewhere Erik Kennedy wonders what it is like to work in the satellite insurance sector. Somehow he gets away with rhyming ‘guesses’ with ‘yeses’. And somehow, even as this book comes up against the most ominous aspects of our future, it uplifts.
‘Erik Kennedy’s second collection is a delight. What a rare and special thing it is to laugh out loud at poetry. These poems are inventive, wry and beautiful. There’s a lot to worry about these days, and Kennedy might just be the anxiety laureate, but when the floodwaters come I want to be with a poet whose safe word is: “oh my God, the water”.’ —Luke Wright
'A very moreish book of poems that are hard to put down. . . . These are poems with a lot of pizzazz. ' —Harry Ricketts, RNZ
'This book does what we need literature to do right now: show us ourselves slant and foolish, fitful and fragile, as we are. It’s a flare.'—Vana Manasiadis
‘Erik's poems are wild, mad, and sustainedly brilliant. They heighten the weirdness of our lived and felt realities like good acid.’ —Michael Steven
Erik Kennedy lives in Ōtautahi Christchurch. He recently co-edited No Other Place to Stand, an anthology of climate change poetry from Aotearoa and the Pacific (Auckland University Press, 2022). His poetry chapbook Twenty-Six Factitions was published with Cold Hub Press in 2017, and his first full collection, There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime, was shortlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry in 2019.
Cover design: Philip Kelly
Cover photograph: Max Oettli, ‘BLS train, Switzerland: man with jacket over head (dark)’, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (O.048413).