Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Philip Levine: Red Dust

I do not believe in sorrow;
it is not American.

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Lawrence W. Britt: 14 Characteristics of Fascism

Historian Lawrence Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile) and found they had 14 elements in common. He calls these … Continue reading

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Mary Oliver: The Artist’s Task

It is a silver morning like any other. I am at my desk. Then the phone rings, or someone raps at the door. I am deep in the machinery of … Continue reading

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Sarah Browning: Petworth, Early Evening

A man is stabbing women in my neighborhood. Most poor people in my city are Black   and because of the warnings of 400 years I assume the man stabbing … Continue reading

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Brian Mittendorf: Why New York AG Letitia James is suing the NRA

New York state Attorney General Letitia James is suing the National Rifle Association and four of its current and former officials. The primary goal of the New York lawsuit is to dissolve the NRA completely.

August 10, 2020 · 1 Comment

Alexis Rhone Fancher: Post Mortem

It’s the last time, I swear, except this time I mean it. The last time I mourn Kate so hard I don’t eat, unless you consider alcohol a meal. The last time I drive drunk the five miles to Chuck’s house, at midnight, despondent, disheveled, swigging Stoli…

August 10, 2020 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The American Muse

We let the unresolved issues and crises that face us mount up beyond the poet’s window, as the writer gropes for a language in which to imagine something beyond the claustrophobic assumptions we have accepted as our grasp of the world.

August 9, 2020 · Leave a comment

Video: Pokey LaFarge "Garbage Man Blues"

Pokey LaFarge performing “Garbage Man Blues” at Music City Roots from the Loveless Cafe in Nashville.

August 8, 2020 · 2 Comments

Michael Simms: Oh Darlin’

The intimacy
Of strangers is luminous, the way
We wish well for the man who lost
His car keys, the woman coming in
Out of the rain, the girl who missed
Her bus, the boy who stutters.

August 8, 2020 · 11 Comments

Dr. Michelle D. Holmes: Black Lives Depend on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines

Black Americans need science-based dietary guidelines in an acute way as they disproportionately benefit from federal nutrition programs that are mandated to follow the guidelines, such as school breakfast and lunch programs.

August 7, 2020 · Leave a comment

Yehuda Amichai: A Child is Something Else Again

A child is something else again. Wakes up
in the afternoon and in an instant he’s full of words,
in an instant he’s humming, in an instant warm,
instant light, instant darkness.

August 7, 2020 · Leave a comment

Helen Caldicott: The Lessons We Still Haven’t Learned From Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The United States needs to rise to its full moral and spiritual height and lead the world to sanity and survival.

August 6, 2020 · Leave a comment

Donald Krieger: Hiroshima Haiku

memorial bridge
ahead and in my rearview
winged souls drift by

August 6, 2020 · 2 Comments

Jake Johnson: Postal Union Leader Warns Trump Assault on USPS and Mail-In Voting Puts Nation on ‘Dangerous Path Toward Dictatorship’

Anyone who believes in the right to vote should enthusiastically embrace voting by mail. Without it, tens of millions of voters will be denied the opportunity to safely exercise their cherished right to vote.

August 5, 2020 · 1 Comment

Tayve Neese: Blessing the Locusts

Let them, in their fixation,
make one song from a thousand bodies.

August 5, 2020 · 2 Comments

Karen J. Greenberg: Accountability in Trump’s America

All told, the U.S. president has been a perfect model in deflecting all responsibility, even as the death toll soared over 150,000 with more than four million cases reported nationwide and no end in sight.

August 4, 2020 · 1 Comment

Peter Schireson: Kindling

even years later,
I still feel
nothing

August 4, 2020 · 2 Comments

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