What shall we overthrow today?
row of red maples
gleam in the warm May sunlight,
shade neighborhood lawns
The New Rising Working Class
The immigrants from another galaxy
had done their only research by
consuming jingoistic workplace
propaganda about productivity and
teamwork. It made their assimilation
simple and their rise as capitalism’s
star workers meteoric. Bosses loved
them. When asked about their philosophy
of life, most of the new arrivals stated, with
alarming enthusiasm, “Dress for the job you want,
not the job you have.”
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Earlier this weekpublished a science-fiction poem in his newsletter. I love the science-fiction poetry genre, and his poem reminded me of The New Rising Working Class, a poem I wrote in July of last year. That poem was inspired by an earlier project, in which I made several un-motivational posters that I turned into t-shirts. You can see one of the posters below the poem.
That un-motivational poster project greatly amused me, but it never found an audience. However, it was not wasted because wholesome laughter is never wasted, and because it led me to experiment with other things, including haiku comics.
Be the weird you want to see in the world!
P.S. I wrote this post a few days ago. Tonight my father-in-law took a turn for the worse. We are in the process of getting him into hospice care so he can die at home. He could go any day, or he could hang on for a month. We’ve lived across the street from my in-laws for 25 years. As an adult, I’m closer to my father-in-law than I ever was to my own father. I’ve seen a lot of death in my life—I’ve lost a lot of people.
Almost none of the discussions of grief ever talk about how often, it’s not the death that’s the hard part—it’s the dying. The roller coaster of he’s dying, he’s improving, he’s dying, over and over again until one day that car stops rolling, is exhausting. Each day his life force is a bit weaker, and the world just goes on, indifferent to him and those of us who love him. Deadlines still need to be met, bills must get paid, and everyone is sorry for what you’re going through.
Soon they will be sorry for your loss. Each individual who offers condolences is sincere and loving, but after the third time, it’s hard to remember that. For each person telling you they are sorry for your loss, it’s their first time expressing that genuine compassion and grief to you. Yet, it still feels hollow because in the days when someone you love dies, everything is hollow. I know what’s coming. I’ve lost friends, parents, cousins, and brothers-in-law with brutal suddenness and with agonizing slowness. It’s always awful.
At some point, I will write more fully about grief, death, and dying. But, it’s too soon to write Max’s eulogy. I have a lot of thoughts about the power of poetry at such moments. But for now, I will keep sharing the poems and posts I had scheduled—not because I’m not grieving, but because this is what I do. I will share my feelings through my art as I process them.
Thank you for sharing your art, your words, and your grieving process in “real time,” Jason! I appreciate you very much!
I appreciate you so much Jason and thank you for being real with us all in both good times and bad. It's hard to lose people we love and no matter how often it happens it is never easy... probably because each person is special to us in their own way. 💙