Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Rebecca Gordon: Social Security Versus National Security

The U.S. “national security” budget is still the third rail of politics in this country.

June 17, 2021 · 1 Comment

Majid Naficy: The Engraver

You put on your eyeglasses
And read me your daughter’s will
Word by word.

June 17, 2021 · 1 Comment

Daniel Burston: An Open Letter to Steve Kowit on his poem “Intifada”

Right now, civil conversation on these subjects is difficult to impossible to sustain because both the Zionist and the Palestinian narratives have been carefully curated to highlight the harms that each side inflicted on the other, and to minimize or ignore the harms that they inflicted on their adversaries.

June 16, 2021 · 4 Comments

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: When I Shut the Door

The news arrived by e-mail — a scribble of a long, single sentence, broken up, like little chunks of wood, the way a year is broken up into months and weeks, days, hours.

June 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Steve Kowit: Intifada

bekippad Sabras dance thru the Tel Aviv streets chanting
gleefully: No school tomorrow in Gaza; all of their children are dead. 

June 15, 2021 · 3 Comments

Derrick Z. Jackson: Building Back Severed Communities

The Biden administration wants to reconnect historically Black and Latino neighborhoods cut off by highway construction. There’s promise and peril in that.

June 14, 2021 · 2 Comments

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

Emily De Ferrari: Sicilian Triptych

These honest waters, flow over the ancient debauchery of Baiae,
over the volatility of Marsili, bring to shore the bodies
but we do not see them.

June 9, 2021 · 5 Comments

John Feffer: They’re Not Conservatives. They’re Extremists

By mislabelling the radical members of the Republican Party “conservative,” the mainstream media gives them a veneer of respectability.

June 7, 2021 · 2 Comments

Vivian Maier: Portrait of an American City

When Chicago nanny Vivian Maier died in 2009, she left behind 100,000 negatives that no one but she had ever seen. They are now considered some of the best photographs of American urban life ever made.

June 6, 2021 · 1 Comment

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

Angele Ellis: from Four Way Books / Leonard, Torres, and Cohen

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public.” –Allen Ginsberg

June 4, 2021 · 3 Comments

Gerry LaFemina: Alphabet City

Longing has such a sense of history.

June 3, 2021 · 5 Comments

Robin D.G. Kelley and George Yancy: The Tulsa Race Massacre Went Way Beyond “Black Wall Street”

The 1921 Tulsa race massacre wrought widespread destruction. In addition to acknowledging the horror of that particular event, we must confront the systemic, genocidal, state-sanctioned, racist violence that is pervasive in the United States.

June 3, 2021 · 1 Comment

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