When I was a kid, growing up in the Central San Joaquin Valley of California, my dad was working his ass off bucking sacks of feed and seed, as the manager of a store connected to the dairy industry. I later did the same. Because the main company was essentially a creamery and also warehoused its goods–largely, bags of powdered milk and cases of butter–it relied on the trucking industry big time. All of its employees were members of the Teamsters union. My father was the shop steward for many years as well.
So I grew up with a genuine understanding of just what unions have meant to the working men and women of America. I, too, have spent most of my working life connected to various unions. I am very proud to be able to say that.
Here’s to Jimmy Hoffa–I remember my father proudly reading a book about Jimmy, complete with all the man’s foibles, and still smiling at the brotherhood of workers Hoffa represented in those days.
Here’s to Cesar Chavez, who remains an AMERICAN icon. I can’t tell you how many hateful things I heard about him while in my teens…from people who should have known better, then went to Confession at the end of the week, only to do it again on Monday.
I am thinking back to the strength of folk singer heroes like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, who never sold out the American worker.
To every goddamn protector of worker’s rights who has ever walked the planet, thank you! All one has to do is look into the faces of the Trumps, the Pences, the truly frightening McCarthyesque poses of people like Paul Ryan to understand we are dealing with the devil here in the guise of Republicanism. Shame on them, and shame on anyone who is still buying into these dangerous times.
Sorry. Sometimes even a poet has to react in prose.
Copyright © 2016 by Sam Pereira
A big thank you to Millicent Borges Accardi for conducting this interview with me a few months ago. It is up now for all to see. Here’s the link:
I’m delighted to have two poems in the latest issue of Blackbird, one of the finest literary journals to have ever hit the planet–online or otherwise!
It is a joy to pass along the information that my latest collection, Bad Angels, is now available directly from the publisher, Nine Mile Press. It has been a true pleasure working with Bob Herz, the owner/publisher of the press, and I hope those of you who like my work will consider having a copy of your own. As readings present themselves, I look forward to meeting many of you as well. 🙂
For Ray Bradbury, Somewhere in the Wind
He felt this need to tell a story,
But it had to be short, and
To the point. It had to explain
How the two of them had come
This far in the rain, and still
Managed not to be aware
Of their own damn theme.
He had always admired
The sentence “She walked
Into the dawn naked, just
As God intended.” However,
Throughout history, why
Have we never seen anything
But head shots of God?
You see then, don’t you?
With the coming of back-to-back
Questions, the point
Will always be lost. He touched
Her soft neck in the wind.
He touched her soft neck
In the wind. He touched her
Soft neck in the wind.
He felt the need to tell a story.
Copyright © 2015 by Sam Pereira
Why the Terrorists Will Always Lose
He got in the car
And drove to the store for smokes.
It sounded manly.
She took off her bra
And placed it on the big bed.
So beautiful, yes?
When he walked inside,
The clink of his lighter rang
Through her tender spine.
It’s the elegance
Of these patterns that keeps them
On the yellow line
Of Bliss Road, heading
To their own private cafe,
Where spoons dip and stir.
Copyright © 2015 by Sam Pereira
just signed the contract for a new book of poems to be published in the latter part of 2015 if all goes according to plan. Specifics, including title, remain tentative at this point, but I’m delighted to be working with Bob Herz at W.D. Hoffstadt & Sons on this one. More as Pereira gets his literary ducks out into the middle of the pond. Life continues to surprise and delight.
I, like so many others, knew Mark Strand in a small way. He was a visiting professor in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for one of the two years I was there. When I heard the news of his death earlier today, I did what poets do. I wrote. He probably wouldn’t remember me if he was still here, but I remember him. It’s raining outside my home in California as I write this. I wonder why. I wish him well in the other Paris.
Seemingly Like Paris
for Mark Strand
They are slowly going away. The poets.
The truly genuine poets who sat
In coffee shops and conspired
To be ignored as long as they could
Manage it. Then others came
And looked at them with awe and
Asked nicely if they, too, could sit
At the table. Everything was gorgeous,
Even when the teaspoons clashed
Against the porcelain cups, and
Cigarettes were still in fashion,
And tips could be heard on counter tops.
So, it really isn’t surprising to hear
Nothing today but the wind,
Pushing bluebirds back just a bit.
They are slowly going away,
The bluebirds sing. It is
As revolutionary as old wars.
Copyright © 2014 by Sam Pereira