“Because you see them in their fullness, you also see what’s beyond the human. You see something beautiful… The bear coming to the trash heap, sure, it could be looked at as tragic. But it could also say, look, you can’t kill beauty.”
In this episode, Cole and Joe talk about animality, what one would die for, and working-class struggles. Joe relays his experience as both poet and factory worker and describes how these identities intersect and open him up to fresh perspectives on academia and life. His opening poem, “Morning at the Elizabeth Arch,” can be found online at Rattle.
Joe Weil is a poet and musician. His two latest books of poetry are Helping the Village Idiot Feed the Chickens (Vendetta books, 2020) and The Backwards Year (NYQ books, 2020). Before becoming an associate professor at Binghamton University, Weil worked as a tool grinder and chief shop steward for twenty years.