Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Michael Simms: Names

Lea wants to change her name to Tina. Her mother says she must think very carefully because a name has to fit. The wrong name can bind like someone else’s … Continue reading

June 16, 2018 · 3 Comments

Jose Padua: Self-Portrait in the Form of a Chalk Outline on the Concrete Belly of America

Jose Padua is a dish best served cold with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes in a light broth and accompanied by a rich lager with subtle aftertones of lemon. Jose Padua … Continue reading

May 25, 2018 · 6 Comments

Ellen McGrath Smith: A Royal Wedding in the Trump Era, Or My Sixth Grade Civics Head Explodes

No I’m not watching royals get married this weekend. If I want shiny surfaces, I’ll find a river, lake, or pond, the bathroom mirror. Are we destined to worship descendants … Continue reading

May 19, 2018 · 3 Comments

Jon Queally: While Many US Outlets Equivocate on Israel’s Massacre of Unarmed Palestinians, The Onion’s Piercing Satire Destroys IDF Talking Points and War Crime Apologists

The searing satire of headline writers at The Onion over the last two days have perhaps done more than most mainstream journalists to expose just how wantonly cruel the actions … Continue reading

May 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

Stephen Dobyns: My Town

This happens occasionally in my town. Maybe it’s a sort of nervousness or hysteria, even displaced fervor, as if fervor were a kind of cloud or the fog that rolls … Continue reading

May 16, 2018 · 1 Comment

Stephen Dobyns: Tomatoes

A woman travels to Brazil for plastic surgery and a face-lift. She is sixty and has the usual desire to stay pretty. Once she is healed, she takes her new … Continue reading

May 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: One for the Morning and the Uninterrupted Dancing in my Head

This morning I’m looking for my copy of Reinbert de Leeuw’s super slow performances of the compositions of Erik Satie to play while I do the work I get paid … Continue reading

April 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sherry Hamby: Resisting technology, Appalachian style

When people hear “Appalachia,” stereotypes and even slurs often immediately jump to mind, words like “backwards,” “ignorant,” “hillbilly” or “yokel.” But Appalachian attitudes about technology’s role in daily life are … Continue reading

April 6, 2018 · 3 Comments

Video: David Brooks — “Trump and Afterwards: The Next American Culture”

. In this hour-long lecture, New York Times columnist David Brooks talks about the major trends in American culture over the last 50 years and how they have led to … Continue reading

March 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Operatico Politico — NRA Protest Song

. Operatico Politico gives us a new protest song for the March For Our Lives on March 24th! Please like and share widely! Lyrics and guitar chords here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/traditi… Email … Continue reading

March 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Abby Zimet: This is the Bunny I Love

The Stellar Trolling of Mike Pence This week’s Canny Resistance Award goes to John Oliver, who deftly stole Mike Pence’s family’s homophobic thunder by, hours before the release of their … Continue reading

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Molly Fisk: An Apiary Has Nothing to Do with Apes

One of the things I’m good at is linking people together. Not match-making,  although two couples have married who fell in love during my poetry class. Usually it’s more practical: … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

Mike James: The Monk’s Couch

. Frank The Balloon Man Honestly, he hated children. Hated their laughs and the miniature gaps of their smiles. Hated the clutching need of their fingers. He hated the parents. … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: How Does It Feel to Be Loved and All the Other Questions I’ve Ever Wanted to Ask the Armed Cheerleaders of the Corporate State as an Act of Defiance

That night one year ago, after dinner, I was in the dining room talking to my wife Heather when our thirteen-year-old daughter Maggie came in to ask me for help … Continue reading

February 27, 2018 · 2 Comments