Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Lasse Söderberg: For Tomas Tranströmer

You know the broken history of things,
the alchemy of stones, a world masked
in the blind light of God.

September 25, 2022 · 2 Comments

Laure-Anne Bosselaar: Infinitives

To dust it — not often enough. To stare at it — too often.
To never open it anymore. Keep his ashes hidden.

September 19, 2022 · 12 Comments

Barbara Hamby: Letter to a Lost Friend

There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of  tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool

September 12, 2022 · 2 Comments

Michael Simms: The Horses

People loved her as they might love
A flag or a map or a story
Of a country of green pastures
And low stone walls

September 9, 2022 · 26 Comments

Baron Wormser: The Shuffle

Lost my soul in the shuffle.
Got a self instead.
Not a fair deal, not even-Steven,
Not Roger-dodger.

September 8, 2022 · 8 Comments

John Balaban: Anna Akhmatova Spends the Night on Miami Beach

What killed her was the talk, the empty eyes,
which made her long for the one person in ten thousand
who could say her name, who could take her home,
giving her a place between Auden and Apollinaire

August 23, 2022 · 10 Comments

Barbara Hamby: Ode on Dictionaries

A-bomb is how it begins with a big bang on page
one, a calculator of sorts whose centrifuge
begets bedouin, bamboozle, breakdance, and berserk,
one of my mother’s favorite words, hard knock
clerk of clichés that she is

August 17, 2022 · 3 Comments

Michael Simms: You Taught Me

you pointed
At the bubbles rising in the pitcher
Of beer to explain consciousness
Which was blurred by that time
Of evening

August 11, 2022 · 11 Comments

Baron Wormser: Oona

When you have a dog, you get to participate in another creature’s being, a creature who wants to be with you, a human being.

August 6, 2022 · 21 Comments

Terry Blackhawk: So Here

So here I’ve gone and reframed your painting, the one of the street with its tilted telephone poles, the street that led me into sleep so often now bordered by an eggplant purple, very trendy and advised by the decorator to pick up the purples and greens of other pieces in my room…

August 3, 2022 · Leave a comment

Video: Jane Hirshfield reads “For What Binds Us” (with text included)

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud

July 17, 2022 · Leave a comment

Baron Wormser: Ghosts

All the chatter about “family values” presupposes that women pick up whatever difficulties they are faced with and go forward with a happy, maternal smile. Seduced and abandoned does not exist in such an aggressively wholesome universe.

July 11, 2022 · 9 Comments

Sandy Solomon: Abortion Clinic

Pregnant, but unclear about her last period,
she said she thought nothing was wrong for weeks,
but knew she couldn’t afford another, couldn’t
afford the five kids she had now

June 25, 2022 · 8 Comments

Baron Wormser: Conspiracy and Character

Not so strangely, the events of January 6 have a Roman cast to them as a vengeful, self-styled emperor urges the plebeians to attack the Capitol

June 24, 2022 · 3 Comments

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