Monday, October 01, 2018

Summer Issue Editorial

On our warming Earth, summer is the Terrible Season, the sweltering inferno of it culminating in the devastation of torrential storms and hurricanes. This summer has witnessed firestorms in the west and catastrophic deluges and flooding on the Gulf and East Coasts as well as in the Midwest. Even as the climate disaster unfolds, our corporate leadership, under the misguidance of a deranged denialist who cannot see beyond money, continues to erase even inadequate fossil-fuel regulations like the burning off of methane released via fracking. A death warrant for life on earth signed in our blood.

The decline of our biosphere is matched with a decline in civic life, paralized by cultivated partisan division. The rise of fascism here and elsewhere is a desperate and predictable response to the growth of resistance to the corrupt and destructive rule of money. The poems in this collection speak from this reality, and not just in this country. We also have working class poems of resistance from China, where our journal has struck a nerve. Capital is global and our working class must connect globally to overcome it, emancipating ourselves from its ecocidal tyranny.

Our Summer issue always focuses on the inseparable issues of war and climate. The U.S. economy is based on the production and sale of weapons and on perpetual warfare. The casualties continue to mount from the many slaughtered in Syria, Yemen, Israel, Myanmar and African nations to our own school children, minorities and the refugees our policies have created. Poems in this issue speak to the ghastly cost of war and a militarized culture.

This issue proudly presents the winner of our annual Working People's Poetry Contest. This year's winning poem, "The Transients" by Gregg Shotwell fleshes out the personal cost of war and of the connected economic realities of poverty and of people discarded. As the contest winner, Gregg Shotwell won the $100.00 prize, and one year subscription. His poem will remain on our website for one year. "The Transients" is a great example of progressive working class poetry and consciousness. We hope it inspires and we hope to see more entries to our contest over the coming year.

Though this collection has a bleak outlook reflective of the times, it should also be seen as hopeful. As the climate crisis grows exponentially, so too does public awareness and alarm. This is true of the disaster of Trump as well. In his corrupt, gangster arrogance, he continues to be an inadvertent beacon exposing the ugly truth not only of himself but of the filthy corrupt system of corporate influence that produced him. People are finally waking up. "Trump Derangement Syndrome" has been cynically mentioned in the media, including the New York Times, but in truth, it only applies when the focus of resistance stops with him. A growing movement of social democrats goes further in addressing the root problem -- the rule of money. Unless we separate money from power, little but the faces will change.

Real change must be rooted in the growth of social consciousness. This requires class awareness and a strong working class culture. Promoting that is our mission. We are thankful to all who contribute poetry, stories, reviews and/or financial support. You can help by passing this issue and back issues around so our work is seen by more of us and our progressive working class perspective can take root and grow..


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