April 10, 2015

Night Train Red Dust

Thanks to WDSE Playlist:
The first poem, "Sketch" is about a true story that occurred in 1914 during the labor strike in Biwabik at the home of Philip Masonovich.  Two company guards arrived at the home, purported to check on a "blind pig" or still.  A scuffle ensued, and a gun went off and shot one of the guards who was outside near the horse and wagon.  Mr and Mrs Masonovich were taken into custody. Even the baby went to jail.  Charges were also filed against union organizers who were 75 miles away.   The sketch is proletarian form of writing: a character, a situation, but not necessarily a plot.  I chose the word sketch for the title because of the ambiguity of the situation.  Nobody really knows who said or did what, or who was to blame. We do know that the companied hired and armed men, and that these men used their guns.  A mine worker was shot in the back in Gilbert, and seven thousand people marched at his funeral, including the union organizer for the Wobblies, Helen Gurley Flynn. She later became one of the founding members of the ACLU.

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