Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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

Video: In a Nutshell

From a seed to war, from meat to love, from indifference to apocalypse: Director Fabio Friedli uses 3,000 pictures in a montage that attempts to capture the world in a nutshell.

September 15, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: application for the position of abdelhalim hafez’s girl | Poem by Safia Elhillo

i am six months
returned from incense smoke to soften the taste of river water

September 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

James Wright: A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.

September 13, 2019 · 2 Comments

Sydney Lea: To Sydney Lea, Whom I Found Online

You must get tired of requests from witless strange men to meet up.

September 12, 2019 · Leave a comment

Luray Gross: Curriculum Vitae

Some days I am nothing but bluster. Bluster, and this
small dance I let my hips lean into before they snap back.

September 11, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: In Contemplation of the Failure of Empires

ready for everything
in the world that’s dim, dark,
shady and beautiful; ready for
the city that moves us like a river

September 10, 2019 · Leave a comment

Kathleen O’Toole: Half Italian

The brain’s hard-wired with the impulse to feed
when given the chance, and it’s why I always double
the garlic in any recipe.

September 9, 2019 · 5 Comments

Paul Christensen: Summer’s End

Summer is like old gold, dark with age. You feel its strength become mellow and pliable in the soft breezes. There is wisdom in the heat that still simmers along the edges of noon, as if it were trying to tell us that illness or aging are as natural as drawing breath.

September 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

Stephen Dobyns: Santiago in Winter

He is gone now, the blind man, tidily dressed
in a suit of dust, with a dusty tie and dark glasses,
who played the clarinet on Paseo Huerfanos,
the paseo of the orphanage…

September 8, 2019 · 2 Comments

Karen Friedland: Ahimsa

You could say
it was a vegetarian’s revenge

September 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Richard Wright: Haiku

I am nobody:
A red sinking autumn sun
Took my name away.

September 6, 2019 · Leave a comment

Joseph Fasano: The Figure

You rise. You turn back to the room and repeat what you know:
The earth is not a home. The night is not an empty bridle…

September 5, 2019 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Romero: Being Poor

It can be waiting
And telling your children to wait
Wait their whole childhoods away.
It’s knowing they blame you.

September 4, 2019 · 1 Comment

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