Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jaime Sabines: Your body by my side

Your body by my side is easy, sweet, quiet. Your head on my chest repents with eyes closed and I look at you and smoke and enamored I caress your … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · 1 Comment

Betsy Hartmann: Climate Change and Privileged Despair

People can and do cooperate in times of environmental disaster and stress—why isn’t that part of the dominant narrative? Doomsday panic is as American as apple pie, though the precise … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Charles Davidson: A Day for Love in the Age of Trump

You might say that at its inception St. Valentine’s Day was born as a lover’s “blizzard.” For, as legend has it, Saint Valentine, a third century Christian priest, selflessly ministered … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Romero: Things Without Substance

I walked home from work last night My bones felt too big for my skin The streets were deserted It was my birthday and I wished for love As usual … Continue reading

February 12, 2018 · 1 Comment

Jeffrey Wasserstrom: What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

Thanks to the criticisms they’ve leveled in articles, interviews, tweets and letters to the editor, we know that many contemporary authors, from Philip Roth to J.K. Rowling, have a dim … Continue reading

February 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Tough

. An immigrant mother and her daughter finally explore the things they had left unsaid. Born in the UK to a Chinese mother whose parents were targeted by the state … Continue reading

February 11, 2018 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Lie Detectors

I recall those gray days after school in the 1950s when I settled in to watch “Superman” on our black and white TV. The theme music was proto-John Williams epic … Continue reading

February 11, 2018 · 1 Comment

Video: The Story of Bottled Water

. . This short animated video tells the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · 1 Comment

Gary Snyder: Smokey the Bear Sutra

. Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a discourse to all the assembled elements and … Continue reading

February 10, 2018 · 2 Comments

Robert Borosage: Can Democrats Catch a Wave in 2018?

Democrats won’t build an enduring majority for the profound reforms we need without a clear explanation of why we are in the mess we are in, who did it to … Continue reading

February 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sandy Solomon: Waiter Taken at Noon, Buenos Aires, 1976

And you, who have not left your country because you must; you, untested by the state’s intent to harm; you, a lucky one, whose only life fattens and lazes on … Continue reading

February 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Dia Kayyali: FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

In 2014 The New York Times published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, discovered by historian and professor … Continue reading

February 8, 2018 · 6 Comments

John Lawson: For Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and my cousins Billie and Dave

When I was a boy in a Virginia suburb, The maids came on the bus each day, And cleaned and ironed and made us lunch. Outside, the colored vendor (“colored” … Continue reading

February 8, 2018 · 4 Comments

Molly Fisk: Clichés of Our Times

I am not so blessed or so not blessed, being a lapsed Unitarian who believes only in oaks and sunlight, nor am I honored, a once-bright thought now sunk into … Continue reading

February 7, 2018 · 1 Comment