Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Miriam Levine: Invisible Kisses

And survivors with numbers tattooed on their arms, straight as a
bookkeeper’s sum,
the ink indelibly blue, unlike the blessedly changing ocean.

July 1, 2020 · 1 Comment

Stephen Dobyns: Laugh

What he wished was to have his ashes flushed
down the ladies’ room toilet of Syracuse City Hall,
which would so clog the pipes that the resulting
blast of glutinous broth would douse the place clean

April 30, 2020 · 4 Comments

Molly Fisk: Elegy (for Leah)

her infinite soprano
and my street drawl voicing words that could
depress a saint

March 9, 2020 · Leave a comment

Chris Moran: After Reading Akhmatova

What can I name my grief, again, today?
A nickel frozen in the sidewalk?
A tumbling paper bag?

March 3, 2020 · 1 Comment

Connie Post: How to Sort the Living from the Dead

Forget all the nonsense
about eyes opened or closed
or breathing
or brain waves

February 20, 2020 · Leave a comment

Walt Whitman: When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d

For the sweetest, wisest soul of all my days and lands—and this for his dear sake,
Lilac and star and bird twined with the chant of my soul,
There in the fragrant pines and the cedars dusk and dim.

February 16, 2020 · 6 Comments

Peter Makuck: Seniors

mocking with an ache
that comes with leafdrop, woodsmoke,
and those shots of bourbon that ease
not a thing

February 15, 2020 · Leave a comment

Sharon Fagan McDermott: Orchid Room, Phipps Conservatory

Grandma lived to be ninety-three
and wore the fabric of that tale to a soft sheen
with her retelling. Where does the past lie?

February 6, 2020 · 3 Comments

Leslie McGrath: The Death of Dogs

In the middle of the night when he thinks
I’m asleep, Bill will weep without sound
shaking the bed like a curse at God

January 15, 2020 · 6 Comments

Majid Naficy: I Have Become a Resting Place

And my mother, who at her death
Called out to her sister Ozra,
Has not yet let go of
My own sister’s hand.

January 9, 2020 · 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

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

Peter Makuck: After Work

I’m sorry,she said, but you look
just like my father. He died last month.
She found her cellphone
and showed me a photo that looked
as if I’d taken a selfie.

September 3, 2019 · 1 Comment

Roberta Hatcher: By Yellow Lamplight

But what of the happiness they wrought?
Laughter around a table, flavor of onions
and mustard and salt, music to drown the sound
of his weeping. All the gods are fallen.

July 24, 2019 · 5 Comments

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