‘Bobbi the Girl’ By Jenifer Rae Vernon

poem as read by the Author

wakes at four thirty and has some time
to drink her coffee and have a f*&king cigarette
before she has to be on the job with these assholes

she chops potatoes and peels carrots
and puts a roast in the crockpot
so it will smell good when she comes home

and they’ll have dinner ready when she’s dead
after the work, and her husband on pain killers
and back broke in bed all day can’t do nothing anyway

cleaning his f*&king bed pan and trying to get him
comfortable in his condition, what it must have been like
when they fell for each other and got together

it was before my time of knowing her
a woman impervious on construction site to bullet eyes
and sexist rants, she shredded the men

in acid taunts and cuss chains that withered the meaty
like salt on slugs, she small-sized still could holler
at me, get your young ass over here at the time

and costs more if you watch to the guys when we were high on ladders
and mother f*&ker c*&k sucker when something’s
irritating, said loud like cloud she made a bottom up

weather system of curse word propelled protection
so we could work, alongside Animal Man and Road Kill
and any other number of 100 white men vs the two of us

Bobbi the Woman, here’s to your Work
and for making it easier for the rest of us
in the world of construction

Poet, Jenifer Rae Vernon, by American River, Rancho Cordova, Calif., 2020. Photo by Alex Zenner.

Jenifer Rae Vernon, grew up in a small town and a big blue-collar family in Washington state. She worked seven years in drywall and paint and went from a GED to a PhD. Today she lives with her little family in northeast California and teaches full-time at a community college. She was awarded a Tillie Olsen from the Working-Class Studies Association for her book of poetry Rock Candy, West End press.

*Image, Bianca Consantin, Unsplash.

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Call for Submissions on Music and Class

The Journal of Working-Class Studies seeks submissions for the December 2022 issue exploring popular music and class from a global perspective. The Journal is an “open-access” (free for readers) academic publication that grew out of the Working-Class Studies Association and now has its own platform. Every issue is a celebration for us!

The Journal invites papers that consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:

How is popular music classed?

Does social class have an impact on the types of music created and consumed?

How do popular music artists navigate their way through classed structures – are there now less opportunities for working-class artists to break through the class ceiling?

How have working-class people engaged with popular music (as fans or artists)?

The deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2022.

Please see the Journal’s website for information about submissions and a contact email for queries.

Photo is licensed as Creative Commons and credited to Chris Hawes.