Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Danny Sjursen: Watching My Students Turn Into Soldiers of Empire

A New Generation of West Pointers Joins America’s Hopeless Wars

November 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Thank you for your service

At the gym the other day, a few of us old veterans were talking among ourselves. The subject drifted to how tired we are of that “Thank you for your … Continue reading

November 11, 2019 · 6 Comments

Eloise Stark: My Autism Journey

Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.

November 2, 2019 · 1 Comment

Allegra Harpootlian: Why I Weep While I Work

A majority of my day is spent bearing witness to the pain, fear, and terror that America’s actions have been causing across the Greater Middle East and North Africa.

November 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Deborah Bogen: Homeless Box

Sometimes we cross to the other side to get away from their carts and tarps, to avoid their dirty murky faces, but mostly we look through them, past them, above them, our eyes seeking the sanctuary of the shiny store windows.

October 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The Rain It Raineth Every Day

They say the average cloud weighs about the same as eighty elephants. A big storm such as now darkens the sky overhead must be an infinite parade of elephants milling around in the dark gray pastures above us.

October 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Marco North: The Stairs

Downstairs, there is a pile of kopeks next to the garbage bins. A ruble is far less than a penny, and there are one hundred kopeks to every ruble…. The kopeks are not there to be thrown away. They are for someone who actually needs them. Three hundred of them would buy a potato or two.

October 20, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robin Wall Kimmerer: I close my eyes and listen to the voices of the rain

Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy.

October 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Ghosts and Memories

It’s the place where the dead are sleeping, barely breathing in the moist black earth along the creek. They will rise when the time comes, and ask the living for a candle, perhaps a dish with a cookie on it.

October 13, 2019 · 1 Comment

Frida Berrigan: Trumping the Future

The skies, the mesas, the old growth forests, the seas, and everything else, all the richness, beauty, diversity of our ecosystem doesn’t belong in Donald Trump’s wallet. It’s ours, not his. It belongs to all of us — and none of us — at the same time. That means our job, above all, is to protect it and so our children, all of them!

October 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

Doug Anderson: Writers Block

Fenster McGraw is crawling out the back window of his lover’s house and stumbling into the alley pulling up his pants, and is spotted by the ever vigilant widow Winnie Wildwood with her nineteenth century naval spyglass who’s had her suspicions about that Wilson woman anyhow

October 1, 2019 · 1 Comment

Andrew J. Bacevich: Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan

However great my distaste for President Trump, I support his administration’s efforts to extricate the United States from Afghanistan….Prolonging this folly any longer does not serve U.S. interests. Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you’re doing something really stupid, stop.

September 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

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.

September 15, 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

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