“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
— William Carlos Williams, physician and poet
I have picked crops, been a mill worker, a cannery worker, a sawyer, carpenter, surveyor, bus driver, fine furniture builder, musician, engineer, and resident corporate mustapha. Now, in the final third of life, I will be a working poet – with a small p.
Labor, the work of your hands and heart, is sacred and you shouldn’t give it away to just anybody. I started working on commercial farms picking berries and beans when I was ten and have worked at least part of each year since. I don’t plan on ever stopping. Poetry is culture work. If the poet does his or her job well, their work becomes insurgent art and a human call to arms, as Carlos Williams pointed out. If there is anything more important right now, I’m not sure what it is.
Write on, my friends. It is down to us now.
Yours in art and labor,