Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: The Pandemic Blues

Everyone around here is sluggish. The young woman who checks my purchases off the conveyor belt dabs her eyes and stifles a yawn. She keeps shaking herself awake as the … Continue reading

July 25, 2021 · 7 Comments

Greg Thielen: As the World Burns

At this very moment, as my pen inks this page, the entire Western United States is scorching. Death Valley recorded a high of 140 Fahrenheit.

July 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Christine Skarbek: Konstancin

Konstancin was the turn-of-the-century playground of the Polish wealthy and elite.  Weekend trains would bustle the chic out of Warsaw to their palatial country mansions and the casino directly across … Continue reading

July 20, 2021 · Leave a comment

Joe Kadi | Good Poetry: A Force To Be Reckoned With

As soon as I became an activist, as soon as I connected with Arabs and feminists and queers and folks with disabilities and poor people fighting to re-make the world, poetry demanded my attention.

July 19, 2021 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: My Mazda and I

The monks of Europe often planted their vines in cemeteries to ward off thieves, and believed you could taste the blood of ghosts when you drank. My mother would sip her wine and look away dreamily and then back at me as if I had come home from a long journey, with the Mazda parked in her driveway.

July 18, 2021 · 4 Comments

Kaveh Bassiri: Afterword

In the Quran, God taught Adam the names of all things. Even the angels didn’t know the names. Do we carry the weight of these words with us? Do they hold us responsible?

July 14, 2021 · 1 Comment

Heidi Matthews: Talk of toxic masculinity puts the blame in all the wrong places

Anti-toxic-masculinity activism is compatible with commitments to protect white female innocence at the cost of Black boys’ freedom.[…] It offloads onto individuals the responsibility for countering the real problems of wealth and power distribution that lie at the heart of gender inequity.

July 11, 2021 · 2 Comments

Gerald Fleming: Work

Today you’ll work in the room behind the barn. For years there’s been a stain on the sheetrock where the rain drips in, and the place smells of rot, and when the other day you yanked off a chunk of sheetrock, thinking might be rotten wood in there, thinking you’d maybe have to replace a few studs, you found, in that damp place, everything rotten.

July 11, 2021 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: Summer’s First Visitors

It’s summer and the gods are playing tug of war with the wind and the sun. Some days are dead-weighted with humid air that clings to our our faces like … Continue reading

July 5, 2021 · 9 Comments

Kimberly Parish Davis: Cheating Songs

If it wasn’t a man singing a song about cheating on his woman, it was a woman singing about how she was going to get her man back from some other woman. In Daddy’s mind, he was the hero of every one of those songs.

June 26, 2021 · 8 Comments

Mel Packer: Angie’s Place

Where back in the corner, there’s always some guy in a Pirates ballcap with skin like an old leather shoe who’s nursing the cheapest beer on tap….

June 19, 2021 · 3 Comments

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Self-Reliance

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.

June 18, 2021 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Early Dog Days in Vermont

It used to be you could live in Vermont without an air conditioner, or even a fan. The stores were very sparing in their shelf space for such things. Now, all the big retailers pile up boxes of cheap rattling room coolers as early as May, and sell them off.

June 13, 2021 · 3 Comments

Sydney Lea: Sunday Morning

…his left ring finger was hewn at the knuckle quite some years ago.  If I think hard enough, I can remember when he was secretive about that injury. He kept the disfigured hand in his pocket or behind his back as much as he could.

June 6, 2021 · 1 Comment

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