Matthew Klane

from Sorrow Songs

Martyr Island

                   “is” on all sides insulated,
inculcated, inbound,

                  by the dolorous

sound-surround, hollow shopping

here “I” am, inshallah

                  insofar as, in so many

I levee the words

                  “my heart is heavy”

Sorrow Song 7
Mall of the Ottomans

Fact         The First Act of American Murder

you cannot destroy history                                                begins diatribe
                 any more than you can be sure                                          and ends w/ a sword

                                 “what happened?”                                                                   “yessir!”

The New Testament                                    But Then… shibboleth, biblical gibberish

                of Virginia, pure, un-interpreted                                          libel, violence,
                                                                                                                                            libidinous mergers
no precedent,
                 no dissent, no resistance                                         “mulatto”     “karate”     “kibbutz”

Sorrow Song 8
The Sword Verses

                                                                                           Antebellum (Before the War)

                                                                                                          I lived on your
                                                                                                                         low country floor

                                                                                           Lord, my bungalow

                                                                                                          hath become a raft

                                                                                           Moorish and muzzy

                                                                                                          a’ thwarted and wordy

                                                                                           what followed “emancipate”
                                                                                                          was all-out “aftermath”

Sorrow Song 9
The Slums

The Federal Reserves                                                                hundreds of thousands of

               we plied them w/ small-shot                                                             money-hungering men

half-pikes, powder-chests,                                              lurching forward
                                        and such-like                                                like the word “church”

Lee Had Surrendered                                                 “woe belongs to the whilom”

                                         Lincoln was dead                                         he said “worry to the worriers”

Johnson and Congress                                                       we said “bow wow”
                were at loggerheads                                                             like dogs being led to the slurry

Sorrow Song 10
Deconstruction and Reconstruction

I Built Me a Kind of Bower                               to house my guilt

                as tough as the willows and                               though the borders are pious
sallows and osiers                                              and the hoard is hallowed

                and tall enough                                                       I would that it were not so

Sorrow Song 12
Rock Bottom

Matthew Klane is founder and editor of Flim Forum Press. Flim's two foundational poetry anthologies are Oh One Arrow (2007) and A Sing Economy (2008). Recent chapbooks of Matthew's include The- Associated Press, Friend Delighting the Eloquent, and Being Che. Also see: The-Meister Reich Experiments, online at housepress.org. His book B_____ Meditations is forthcoming from Stockport Flats Press, and other work is forthcoming in Open Letters Monthly, Word for /Word, and The New Chief Tongue.

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