Sunday, September 25, 2005

Summer Issue Editorial

Our summer issue rises from the sweltering streets and shop floors of America; a cry of anguish, hope and determination from the homeless, the disenfranchised and those barely making it, imprisoned in the monotony of jobs that kill body and soul.

This issue also presents the winners of the "Working People's Poetry Competition." Choosing a winner was particularly difficult this year do to the high quality of the entries. After much consideration we chose "Mule Driver Chronicles" by Jerry W. Sears as the poem winning the $100.00, the one year subscription and the year long on-line posting. We also chose two poems as "runners up:" "The Tree Climber's Husband" by Eric Wayne Dickey and "The Names of the Dead" by Gerald W. Wheeler. Both of them win a year's subscription and on-line posting. All of these poems appear in this issue and we are grateful for their entries. I hope to see more entries next year.

Since our last issue we learned that a poem we published, "It Is Difficult To Sing" by Mary McAnally was a collaborative work with the poet Lyle Daggett and we hereby acknowledge his contribution. Lyle Daggett is not only one of the finest poets of our working class but has a blog, that contains a plethora of information about working class literature.

As the long hot days of August give way to September's promise of relief, so to is a change in the weather being felt in the struggle against the illegal war and occupation in Iraq, as the vital questions posed by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed by Bush's war are striking a chord and getting support that the corporate press and the opportunist politicians can not ignore. It seems the wind is changing and it is up to all of us to take advantage of the moment demanding not only answers but an end to this crime of murderous aggression and justice for its perpetrators.

While the Bush junta will continue to talk about "staying the course" and fighting Terrorism in Iraq rather then here, (despite that most Iraqi insurgents are just Iraqis drawn to the fight by our continued presence), we experience terrorism daily on the home front. "Terrorism" for us is not people fighting off foreign invaders on the other side of the world. Terrorism is what threatens our very ability to survive -- what hold us hostage by threatening our access to shelter, to food and drinkable water, to medical care. Most of us live daily with the terror of unemployment, lack of insurance, lack of money for food hanging over our heads. Many are terrorized by the poisoning of our food supply by meat producers and agribusiness. Most of us fear the results of environmental devastation.In essence we deal with and are subservient to terrorists every day right here: Your landlord is a terrorist, your boss is a terrorist, the bill collector on the phone, your business friemdly representative, the politicians who see us and our children as disposable in wars to boost profits. The system of corporate rule is a terrorism and we must come together as a class to defeat it for our own freedom and survival.

As we complete our eighth year of publication we are grateful for the chance to make available the work of the finest poets of our working class and for your continuing support in making our efforts possible. As always, we welcome your comments as well as your poetry and support.