Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 400,000 monthly users. Over 6,000 archived posts.

Lisa Fay Coutley | Shelter: Michigan

He wants me
to believe he met Jesus in Memphis
after his car went dead & he forgot
& forgot & forgot to feed his dog.

August 29, 2022 · 8 Comments

Video: Zarlasht Halaimzai | What it’s like to be a war refugee

In this poignant, vital talk, Zarlasht Halaimzai articulates the lingering trauma of being expendable — and shares how belonging to a community can help bring back feelings of long-lost safety.

April 12, 2022 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: Brotherly Love

we’re afraid to look deprivation
in the eye, resent admitting our own dumb luck

April 2, 2022 · 36 Comments

Jefferson Carter: Cat & Transient

I swore I’d stop writing about liberal guilt
& about cats too, but I must confess
last night, I groomed our little black cat
with my tongue

September 14, 2021 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Union Square

their crazy dad, his singular
song, with the only people putting money
in his cup looking as crazy as he did

April 13, 2021 · 4 Comments

Deborah Bogen: Homeless Box

Sometimes we cross to the other side to get away from their carts and tarps, to avoid their dirty murky faces, but mostly we look through them, past them, above them, our eyes seeking the sanctuary of the shiny store windows.

October 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

Philip F. Clark: The Beggar’s Welcome

He stopped and asked if I could spare some change. I thought, Oh yes, I could spare so much: another job, a new home, other clothes, better weather, more chances, … Continue reading

February 26, 2019 · 2 Comments

Andrena Zawinski: Twilit Sonnet

In twilight’s dusky backstreets and muted alleys, the dispossessed huddle for the evening in boxes or sleeping bags, under freeways, at doorways, inside storage bins. They retreat   to the … Continue reading

June 22, 2018 · 2 Comments

Video: “Buitenkant” (The Outside)

. Winner of the Jury Award at Shnit Worldwide Film Festival 2016. A homeless woman in Cape Town breaks into an apartment, where her experience turns into a complex reflection … Continue reading

April 22, 2018 · 2 Comments

Patricia A. Nugent: Rush to Judgment

She shuffles up to me on the sidewalk, paper cup in hand. She speaks so softly, I can’t understand what she’s saying. I ask her to repeat it. “I’m homeless. … Continue reading

December 23, 2017 · 17 Comments

Susan Sailer: Life That Hard

23 degrees. He sat on the sidewalk near a street with a stoplight, a sign propped beside him   HELP  I born deaf, homeless              Anything help On two layers … Continue reading

November 20, 2017 · Leave a comment

Gyorgy Faludy: Refugees in Paris, 1939

(Párizs, 1939) Our tight budget afforded only cornmeal. We cooked up a two-kilo batch in a big pot on a hotel hotplate. It bubbled. When done, we poured it out … Continue reading

September 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: These Down and Out Days in the Land of Everything

You can tell me all you know about love and glue, how body parts fit and rub, wrap around each other like leafy vines, or of hurricane winds blowing out … Continue reading

July 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Doug Anderson: Belchertown

. This old half-mad woman who pushes an empty baby carriage up and down the sidewalk in Belchertown. I realized I’ve never looked in her face. It is unbearable. All … Continue reading

July 6, 2015 · 1 Comment

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