Oxbow Cutoff Series


[70 pages]
ISBN 978-0-9840285-7-3




Che | Matthew Klane

An icon is not an iceberg. Unless … the calving glacier is Che—Matthew Klane’s Che. Sonic totem poles whittle away at the revolutionary’s fervor. Murals as brash as graffiti travel continents, ushering us amid lepers and snipers. This book is a bedside jungle. “What makes a man?” asks Klane as he trips on being Che. Guevara’s course turns history, torques typography. Be the vehicle./ Be the cogs in the wheel./ Be the tarmac, turning curved,/ through the narrow pass of my nerves./ C, h, e. This collection is a grand addition to the collective collaboration that is Che. Fire and ice. Che, “Codex Zodiac Billboards.” Che, “Codex Xolotl (Soul Conductor).” Che, “The People’s Theater.” I wanted to live/ in the ether,/ to storm/ sense’s sentineled/ gates—/ to meet destiny,/ grandeur/  and wretchedness,/ and stand in the winner’s/ etcetera.

Matthew Klane discusses CHE.

For full interview see http://matthewklane.blogspot.com/

What is one sentence from your book?
Precipice nondescript. pt.

What inspired you to write this book/where did the idea for the book come from?

For my birthday (2008), my friend Randall gave me a copy of the definitive Che bio, by Jon Lee Anderson, a journalist I had been reading for many years (see: Guerillas, The Lion's Grave, The Fall of Baghdad, all of which helped me to write The- Associated Press and Secret Caves). Instantly, I knew that I was going to write a poem on Che, those letters: C, h, e.

In the previous years, I had been thinking, re-thinking, in poetry, my politics: contextualizing, communing, being mixed up. Feeling ineffectual (insecure re: my "unjustified" poetics), I turned to investigating the lives of radical actors (another poem of mine, Sons and Followers, conjures John Brown). There's this fantasy, masculine fantasy, of entering a world stage and changing things through force. Seizing power. Wrongs will be righted. Particularly complicated, I think, for poets and artists who believe in truth's open space, the reader's autonomy. Che inhabits this problem for a while.

What are your influences for this book?
Totem poles, Aztec codices, Diego Rivera's revolutionary murals, Zarathustra, Marinetti, Mayakovsky, Lorca, papeluchos (dirty paper scraps).

photo credit: Karl Bode

MATTHEW KLANE is co-editor/founder of Flim Forum Press. He is the author of B____ Meditations (Stockport Flats, 2008) and My (Fence eBooks, forthcoming 2014). Currently, he lives and writes in Albany, NY, where he co-curates the Yes! Reading Series and teaches at The Sage Colleges.


Flim Forum Press http://www.flimforum.com