Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: Nutshells

The inside of a nutshell is chambered like the heart, with little ridges and flanges where the nut grew and prepared itself for falling into the waiting earth. That’s what I smell when I hold up a nutshell to my nose. It is the odor of anticipation, the willingness to be sacrificed to the sharp teeth of an animal worrying the shell until it breaks.

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Video: In a Nutshell

From a seed to war, from meat to love, from indifference to apocalypse: Director Fabio Friedli uses 3,000 pictures in a montage that attempts to capture the world in a nutshell.

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Abby Zimet: The Cruelty is the Point

Sweet mother of God. Racist and cruel doesn’t begin to cover the ongoing atrocities now daily committed – coincidentally, virtually entirely against brown and black people – by the sick demons running our country.

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Video: application for the position of abdelhalim hafez’s girl | Poem by Safia Elhillo

i am six months
returned from incense smoke to soften the taste of river water

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Danusha Laméris: Small Kindnesses

For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now.

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Noam Chomsky: The Death of the American University

On hiring faculty off the tenure track That’s part of the business model. It’s the same as hiring temps in industry or what they call “associates” at Walmart, employees that … Continue reading

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James Wright: A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.

September 13, 2019 · 2 Comments

Julia Conley: A Solution for All Generations

With her plan for Social Security expansion, Elizabeth Warren demands that the rich pay their fair share to lift 5 million out of poverty: “No one who spends 30 years working and contributing to Social Security should retire in poverty.”

September 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Piper: Why I’m Currently Blocking the Largest Oil Export Channel in the U.S.

Twenty-two activist climbers from Greenpeace blockaded the Fred Hartmann Bridge in Baytown, Texas Thursday morning in order to shutdown what they called “the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare” in the country. Here is a letter from one of the activists on the bridge.

September 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Tamara MacLeod: Lolita understood that some sex is transactional. So did I.

It is perfectly consistent to be deeply critical of the economic and gender inequalities that give rise to sex work, and still advocate for sex workers. The way to deal with cognitive dissonance is to tilt your head a little.

September 12, 2019 · 1 Comment

Sydney Lea: To Sydney Lea, Whom I Found Online

You must get tired of requests from witless strange men to meet up.

September 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

David V Johnson: Let us now stop praising famous men (and women)

The smog of praise that permeates the upper echelons of society is a product of perverse incentives.

September 11, 2019 · 2 Comments

Luray Gross: Curriculum Vitae

Some days I am nothing but bluster. Bluster, and this
small dance I let my hips lean into before they snap back.

September 11, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: In Contemplation of the Failure of Empires

ready for everything
in the world that’s dim, dark,
shady and beautiful; ready for
the city that moves us like a river

September 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Miranda Cady Hallett: How climate change is driving emigration from Central America

Considering that wealthier countries pollute more but are often shielded from the worst effects, how can responsibility be assigned for the harms of climate change? And more importantly, what is to be done?

September 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Kathleen O’Toole: Half Italian

The brain’s hard-wired with the impulse to feed
when given the chance, and it’s why I always double
the garlic in any recipe.

September 9, 2019 · 5 Comments

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