Saturday, March 31, 2018

Winter Editorial

As this issue comes together, we feel a sickening sense of despair with insane neocons threatening invasions and possible nuclear war. We are under siege by entrenched and power-drunk Wall Street financiers threatening massive cuts to any program that offers us protection, from the predation of profiteers to the social safety net and even our hard-earned social security.

The same neoliberal economic policies which, applied globally, result in debt-colonialism imposed on poorer countries with dire results from the cruelties of forced economic austerity to harsh and abusive military dictatorships, are being applied to us as well. We are slaves to mortgages, rents, utilities, bosses and the debt we accrue just to survive – if we are lucky. The most vulnerable of us wind up in jail or on the streets.

This collection emerges from that harsh reality. Some of these poems are written by poets presently trying to survive within our inhumane prisons. Some of these poems come from people struggling to eat and pay the rent, trapped in dehumanizing jobs. Many of us do not have insurance, or if we do, can't afford to use it because of exorbitant copays and drug prices.

The violence that we have perpetrated on the rest of the world has come home. Teachers and students are being murdered and oppressed minorities continue to be slaughtered by police with impunity.

Immigrants are facing the terror of roundups, persecution, and shameful human rights abuses in a continuation of past racist pogroms leading to genocides. The press chooses to remain silent but poets here are speaking out -- and speak out we must.

Together, we must take responsibility by doing everything in our power to awaken others to the dangers of racist oppression, hyper-nationalism, and war -- the mass-murder of working people to further enrich the same folks that oppress all of us. The rule of money threatens our own survival as much as it does people living in Iran, Korea, Central America, Africa, or anywhere else.

The poets in this issue speak out against the inseparable monstrosities of economic injustice, bigotry, war, and their continuing consequences. Part of our responsibility is getting others to read what we have written. Extra issues and back issues are available and inexpensive. Passing them around helps support the journal while building the consciousness needed for real progress.

It has been inspiring to see the recent victory of teachers in West Virginia and the uprising of a new generation of activists who are impressive in their knowledge and in their commitment. In this time of empowered thievery and fascist insanity, these young people give us hope for a future. Let us work with them to build a resurgence of social sanity and progressive advancement toward a just and livable world.

Our own future as a rare and vital venue for progressive working class literature is also on the line. This is our fundraising season. We are grateful for the support we have already received. Our ability to meet expenses and to continue to publish through the year depends on your support. We thank you.