Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: Half-Life

This is my autobiography at mid-life, assuming that at 51 years of age I will live another 51 years and die at 102. That’s not very likely, but I wasn’t … Continue reading

December 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Days and Nights in the City Where I First Opened My Eyes

My mother worked nights at home, daytime too, in the house, at the sewing machine, making dresses for women who could afford to have dresses made for them. We bought … Continue reading

November 21, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Party Invitation for the Age of Unnatural Disasters

If life were like a perfume commercial I’d be spending even more time than I already do gazing pensively into the distance the top buttons of my shirt undone my … Continue reading

October 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: For the City and These Long Decades Spent Wandering

After dinner one evening my six year old son declares “Trump is a barbarian” from out of nowhere or anywhere I can immediately recall not that speaking the truth ever … Continue reading

September 22, 2017 · 2 Comments

Jose Padua: To the Trump Supporter Who Called Me and My Kids Dirtbags

Because I try to respond to racism and ignorance with something positive, intelligent, and sophisticated, and because I always try to set a good example for my children, but mostly … Continue reading

August 28, 2017 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Because Even in the Darkest of Days Revolution Is a Movement Towards the Light

On the same day in August 1967 when American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell was killed, my younger brother was born: one bad guy down, one good guy up … Continue reading

August 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Marquee Moon

This is a poem for all the nobodies who got fucked over by someone with a name and became ghosts, who once held blueberries and radishes and tiny animals in … Continue reading

July 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: In the Someday with the Sound of All the Passing Years

We only have one TV in the house, and last night Julien took a break from whatever he wanted to watch and let Maggie take control of it. What she … Continue reading

June 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: How I Came to the Valley

How is it some people never stop to consider
what they’ve taken away from someone else—
The effect of light and shade on what they see,
noise and silence on what they hear?

May 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: And the Visions Go on Endlessly Like the Passing of These Many Years

At 4:20 on a Thursday in the valley where I live I’m at the optometrist’s office in Winchester helping my eleven year old daughter pick out her first pair of … Continue reading

May 8, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Restraint

It takes great effort on my part, walking the colorful, tree-lined streets on these fresh and beautiful new spring days, not to turn to the next person coming my way, … Continue reading

April 10, 2017 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Sometimes the Blizzard in My Head Makes It Hard to Find My Way Through the Snow

Twenty years ago during a fierce mid-March blizzard in New York City I walked two doors down from my apartment building to the China Wok carryout at the corner of … Continue reading

March 2, 2017 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: On the Persistence of Color as a Way of Seeing the World

Less than fifty years ago it would have been illegal for me to marry the woman I’m married to in the state where I now live. I didn’t know this … Continue reading

February 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: The Very American Poetry of Jose Padua

What are poets for in destitute times? — Hölderlin . Every poem is a subversive act. In an age when our senses are benumbed by competing media screaming for our … Continue reading

January 4, 2017 · 6 Comments

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