Review: Nothing on the Internet Ever Dies by Lyn Patterson

In Nothing On The Internet Ever Dies, Patterson recontextualizes poetry for our increasingly digital world, expanding the genre beyond words to encompass ephemera. 

The first page of the zine starts with a strong declaration: “We put our heart and foot / (into this shit) / poets are not meant / for window shopping, / poems are not meant, / for scrolling.” But beneath this seemingly anti-internet incantation are three icons: the Instagram “like”, the facebook “like”, and the Tumblr “repost”. This juxtaposition represents Patterson saying that even in our physical realm, we seek validation. She calls out internet poetry while admitting that she, too, is an internet poet. 

Nothing on the Internet Ever Dies is a physical manifestation of a digital collage. A sample of the items collaged are tweets, phone notes, tinder profiles, selfies, and code snippets. All of these seemingly unrelated mediums come together through the poetry Lyn weaves between them. 

These digital collages are interspersed with photos of what Lyn calls “messages from the great beyond.” In her Instagram Live zine release, she said she had taken most of the pictures after writing her first book, Whispers of the Wild and Wilting, when she was experiencing poetry fatigue. But even as she abandoned poetry, she found it (or it found her?) everywhere she went, in the form of street art and secrets whispered.  

At 62 pages long, it is a quick read, but one that you will need to revisit to get the full meaning behind each work. There is nuance and intention behind each piece, and each work deserves to be discussed (and admired!  and devoured!) in classrooms, group chats and book clubs, between friends, and among lovers. 

Nothing on the Internet Ever Dies crafts a narrative through poetry and ethereality that only a “disillusioned millennial” could create. I’ve never seen a zine quite like it, but I hope to see more. 

Review by Madi Giovina

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