B_____ Meditations [1-52] | Matthew Klane
Matthew Klane's daily meditations on being and the body politic evolve from Plato's "divided line" into a rotating T-square that boomerangs beyond Darwin, beats around Bush then heads back to Whitman. These experiments ponder geopolitics and the U.S. electorate. In a grand bow to Whitman, Klane's first section, Specimen Days, borrows edicts and shapes them into spatial sonnets. In re Republic, poems bifurcate into two columns. In a bipartisan act, readers read vertically and horizontally as Klane indicts pitfalls of political process and delights in human resilience. Haiku arranged in quadrants form
World Series, the third section. Here, sound and visual play lead readers diagonally across the page. Can this country redefine itself again? By the final section, Explore Tomorrow Today(TM), a rotating t-axis reorients how meaning is structured with each turn of the page. This is the premier collection in Stockport Flats' Meander Scar Series of experimental poetry.
B is just as it sounds, an epistemology of Being. Writing as history has become garbled by geography, Matthew Klane uncorks our ears to first poetic principles--without sense, unsound, without sound, non-sense. Klane hears the thee in theocracy and the twitch in politics, using decanted rhythm and rhyme to reorder our petty universes to size. To B, the philosophers got it wrong, for if a fall sounds in the forest, there must be a tree.
--Vanessa Place, co-director of Les Figues Press and author of La Medusa
In much the same way that Zukofsky's "A" begins with a "round of fiddles" that embodies its vast aesthetic in the more intimate terrains of language, Matthew Klane begins B _____ Meditations by re-encoding the political as private: " Now Washington is within sinews / see in ink...." The mediations of CNN, in other words, are returned to the more immediate, to the "now" of our language and our very sinews. In doing so, Klane's ambitious and endlessly rewarding project dispels the idea that our politics are somehow "out there" and remote from our personal lives. However, even when playfully declaring that the "center is simple, man," this work is far from a utopian or idealized gesture. Instead, B _____ Meditations insists that our personal and political centers may be a matter of simple language and sinew, but those compositions are extensive, difficult, and intertwined in the commonplaces derived from both our private lives as well as our shared histories and cultures. Klane deliberately evokes the spirit of Whitman in his use of salvaged song lyrics, idioms, political speeches, advertisements, and a stunning assemblage of found language. The result is a "republic of rubble" whose plenitudes are sometimes pressured, and require careful parsing else they risk engulfing our subjectivity amid the " litter : : leitmotif / fossils : : layers lost / asphalt : : total awe." However, these submersions are also potentially liberating in that the hybrid language of B _____ Meditations becomes a kind of alchemy, or a re-scripted "constitution of / interstice-inanity" that challenges its readers to reexamine the complex nature of our shared identities and discourses.
--Jonathan Minton, editor of Word For/ Word
Matthew Klane's ear is said to have once hovered far above the great pattern generator, striking fury into key parts of the mutating echo of tasted-out wonder so that he could collect the sparks in tenders of systematically modular poems charged like untripped monadics in a Tikriti bubble gunner's headline-flavorific hum. Klane's B____ Mediations make hot sparkling interface with a polylingual vibrato and they carpet bomb a really truly pure sheet of momentous hyperbolic folding back onto it. Rendering no detail unflossed, B____ Mediations commits a pulsing exponential polygon of culture, whirring and bubbling, into an acclamation that its own diagetic nerve is none other than our own. His off-rhyme volleys and viral puns play back like the somehow happy memory of a death/war porno download, flitting and plodding for a glowing braided fork to put the eye out of real superior heat. Listen: as poets multiply and neutralize their concerns in that permanent-vacation-from-the-real-political that perpetually in silence does lambast them, Klane condenses us into a sick tunnel maquette of the space-time collective that was the last five years, ravishing the swiped-away artifacts onto the pedestal in a spinning binary whiplash of topical zodiak frustrations with which Klane actually untilts the world slightly closer to obliteration's opposite. The B____ Mediations are choreographic jabs at harmful diamonds of thought, self-accumulated beneath the animated radiation of the ticker's deep scroll. In fact, they project a supersonic strain of veritably gigaflushed tetrakaleidaproleptographocular futurismo, which, though basking in the imminence of surefire complicity, exhausts itself in demanding the total elimination of suffering on this planet.
--Justin Katko, editor of Plantarchy and all Critical Documents
November 21, 2008