Sunday, January 06, 2013

Autumn Issue Editorial

This issue marks sixteen years of publication. Over that span, our journal has chronicled the deterioration of our condition as a class within a system driven by corruption and greed at our expense. Also recorded is our resistance to abuse, exploitation, and the recent resurgence of the language of struggle in a revitalized national conversation.

What emerges in this collection is the pride of work, the desperation of being trapped in soul killing dead-end jobs, and the terrifying insecurity of joblessness. More pervasive is a dread rooted in the awareness of a worsening ecological crisis with the climate disaster of this last year culminating in the devastation of superstorm "Sandy" still fresh in our minds.

Our Fall issue has grown to focus on that solidarity; on family and the vital importance of community. The approaching winter, both seasonal and symbolic, bring us together.

The darkest days of the year are also the dying time and we remember the loss of loved ones. Over the last year we have lost some in our own community: poets Leonard Cirino, Adrienne Rich, Rane Arroyo and others. A poem I wrote in this issue acknowledges the passing of David Napolin at 92 because of a poem we published shortly after his death. We didn't know he had died, yet his words were still out there, and still are. Another poem by Teresinka Pereira marks the loss several years ago of activist and publisher Maria Montelibre. Her loss, like so many, leaves a hole in our hearts. She lives on within us, as does the truth of her words. This season reminds us of the tenuous nature of life. This journal, in spite of the tenuous nature of publishing is a collective act of resistance and there is much to resist if life, much less life of quality, is to persist.

From escalating attacks on working people in Michigan to the growing police state to the system of criminal corruption that places profit above the future of life on earth, our struggle continues. The working class militancy that appears in these pages also marked much of the last year with massive occupations which demanded the separation of wealth from power. While that movement continues to transform itself, the focus in the coming year will have to be on addressing climate change; a vital issue which is epitomizes the destructive power of the dictatorship of wealth and which has its root firmly in the class struggle.

We as a journal, and more importantly, as a community of truth-telling poets and writers have a vital role to play. The fact that more people than ever are now saying the things we were all saying sixteen years ago confirms this. It is only through community that our collective project has made it this far. We are continually thankful for your contributions and we are determined to continue.



* A note of correction, the poem, "It's Never Enough" is by poet David W. Roberts. It was wrongly attributed to Andy Roberts on the page though correct in the contents listing of the journal. Typos happen but hopefully not often.

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