Franklin K.R. Cline • so what

so what cover.jpg
so what cover.jpg

Franklin K.R. Cline • so what


Poetry, 2017. Paperback. 50 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9992103-2-1

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"Franklin K. R. Cline is a unique, new voice in Native American poetry. His personal and confessional poems celebrate everyday life in all its raw, domestic, and intimate dimensions. Love and sex, beer and buffalo wings, sports and television, the weather and Milwaukee, all appear within memorable lyric and prose poems. In the end, this work reaches to reclaim everything that has been stolen by America: the land, the sky, the rhythms of our humanity." 

--Craig Santos Perez

Each poem in So What is entitled “So What,” which speaks to the idea that everything is a contribution to the singular endless stolen poem of history. As an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation questioning the validity of American ideals, Cline’s lyric and prose poems interrogate his complicity in imperialism. This long-awaited volume of colloquial verse from a rising Native American voice maintains eloquence, poignancy, and humor throughout— think a tribal Frank O’Hara.

Cover art by Shaun Gaynor



The sun breaks
through the grey and shines on my TV and makes it

hard to watch TV. I’m calm. I’m comforting. I don’t believe in harming anyone who doesn’t

deserve it and I have a pretty good nose for those who would be the best beneficiaries. Who benefits

from America? Who benefits from denying health benefits?

How do they look on the outside and the inside? Often I wonder what it would be like to have more money, I wonder

about the lived experiences
of inanimate objects. Why do I let my fingernails

get so long? I have no idea where my shit
goes when I flush the toilet. How far underground does the pipe

go where my waste commingles with the neighborhood’s waste, and is that the closest I get with my

neighbors? Rod to the south is nice but he works nights so I rarely see him. He’s asleep

during the day; I don’t think Rod is one
of the people working evil at night. He says

he works at a factory. When the aluminum thud
of his car door announces his 4:30 A.M. slam home

I awake to think how happy I am for Rod to be home like me. 



i’m trying
to avoid
this dangerous culture
of want

mercury it seems is always
in retrograde

it’s all getting jumbled

meanwhile i’m telling someone
i don’t remember

if they asked or not

about pastoral poetry it describes the land without calling it stolen

generally speaking

why write poems about the land

it describes itself 

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