Friday, January 15, 2016

Fall Issue Editorial

These are dark Times. As if things weren't difficult and nerve-wracking enough with half the country at the poverty level and our climate on the brink, we are experiencing almost a mass shooting a day along with a rise of fear, bigotry and hate being stirred by the extreme right, reminiscent of the worst of the last century.

Campaign rhetoric has been especially telling in this regard. The GOP, always glad to exploit the ignorance, anger and prejudice of its base, has become entrapped in fascist ideology as candidates compete to be more right-wing than each other – and it's more than just campaign jargon. Donald Trump demonizes Muslims and Hispanic refugee immigrants, running on the promise of massive roundups and deportations. The rest aren't any better pushing guns, anti-Muslim bigotry, and a malignant mixture of fundamentalist religion and militarist nationalism.

The poets in this collection aren't buying the lies. We have never done so. These poets have been through the meat-grinder of horrible jobs, destitution, loss and job related injury. We see the corruption, the manipulated fear and hatred for what it is. These poets have been radicalized and are armed to the teeth, not with guns but with words sharpened to a razor's edge armed with ideas and even worse, ideals!

These are voices of sanity amid the rising barbarism. These are the ideals of human solidarity and outraged humanity. As the poems in this collection illustrate, we deal with the madness around us in different ways. We rant and rage. We speak out against the mindlessness, hate, ignorance, cynical lies and unbearable psychopathology around us. We march arm in arm. We take care of each other. We look for truth and meaning we can hang onto. We insulate our sanity. We retreat from the media lies that pour like endless toxic waste from our TVs and radios. We find solace in community, and we drink.

Let this be a journal be a sanctuary of solace, an assurance that you are not alone. Let this journal be a refuge of inspiration, knowing we are in this fight together, resisting barbarism and struggling for the sanity and security of a better world. Let the poems in this journal, be the firing sequence of the revolution we need to save us.

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