This Year’s Christmas No. 1


by Erik Kennedy

It came upon the highway clear when we pulled over to check
the source of a mysterious noise coming from a wheel.
There, by the 44° south latitude sign in Hinds,
was a fresh sprig of holly and berries, like an offering
to the pagan gods of southerliness, who in their pomp are like
the bearded, puff-cheeked, gym-fit auld yins in Renaissance frontispieces
who blow the various winds over the whole of the wide world.
As chance would have it, we were heading to a Christmas-in-July party
empty-handed except for some yet-to-be-bought wine for mulling—
the cheap stuff, in other words—and this sudden gift
of half the inventory of ‘Icicles, Holly, Red Berries and Snow’,
a 1966 seasonal obscurity by the Caroleer Singers,
those nameless bringers of joy assembled by Peter Pan Records
to write lounge carols for kids, this sudden gift
of green and red from an equally nameless benefactor
was something a sophisticated person might ignore—
except that it resembled something good being born.


About the Author:

Erik Kennedy’s first book of poems will appear with Victoria University Press in New Zealand in 2018. His poems have recently been published in (or are forthcoming in) places like 3:AM MagazineLEVELERPoetryPowder Keg Magazine and Prelude, and his criticism has been in the Los Angeles Review of Books and the TLS. He is the poetry editor for Queen Mob’s Teahouse. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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