Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Michael Simms: And Jesus Wept

Our friend Christian, an African-American and one of the best men I know, told my wife that when he saw the video of the murder of George Floyd, he wept for hours.

June 3, 2020 · 6 Comments

Michelle Bitting: Walls

Worst I had to deal with, well, I suppose that time my son was shut in a padded room and shit himself at the special needs school. He was 13 and having one helluva wiring crisis. I got called to come get him after he graffitied his feces across white walls.

June 1, 2020 · 2 Comments

Barrett Swanson: The Soldier and the Soil

Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.

May 31, 2020 · Leave a comment

W. D. Ehrhart: Paul Fussell — A Remembrance

While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.

May 31, 2020 · 3 Comments

Doug Anderson: Burning Man

Burning man comes from an instinct and need for carnival, a masking of the respectable self in order to release the animal/imaginative self, but with ritualized decorum and boundaries.

May 30, 2020 · 6 Comments

Stephon Alexander: The Physics of Jazz

Physicist Stephon Alexander narrates how he came to understand the parallels between quantum particle theory and jazz composition.

May 24, 2020 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: Ten things I should have figured out before now

Love is complicated. Courtesy is simple. Start with courtesy.

May 23, 2020 · 14 Comments

Video: Liberal Redneck | Progress in Rural America

There’s votes to be had, ya’ll.

May 23, 2020 · 3 Comments

Lise Ragbir: How Coronavirus Will Shape a Generation

This generation now collectively understands that one’s daily existence can change overnight.

May 21, 2020 · 1 Comment

Pilar Lopez-Cantero: Your love story is a narrative that gets written in tandem

By coming to recognise the degree to which overlapping and different narratives shape our expectations in love, we can avoid some of the worst outcomes.

May 19, 2020 · 1 Comment

George Yancy: Ahmaud Arbery and the Ghosts of Lynchings Past

As a black man living in Georgia, I am all too aware of the state’s history of lynching.

May 15, 2020 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: W. Eugene Smith in Minamata, Japan 1971

Smith frames: Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath
The mother cradles Tomoko, her misshapen daughter.
Light through a dark window.
A post-modern pietà.

May 13, 2020 · 2 Comments

Belle Chesler: This Empire Has No Clothes | In the Classroom That Zoom Built

The gravest and most immediate threat to our most vulnerable students was, and continues to be, hunger. If schools are closed, so is the critical infrastructure that helps keep our nation’s children fed.

May 12, 2020 · 2 Comments

Michael Simms: On my recent experience with Covid (maybe)

Yesterday afternoon when I got home from the hospital and booted my computer, I was overwhelmed by the thousands of people who sent me messages of love and encouragement after my recent health scare.

May 10, 2020 · 56 Comments

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