Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Audio: Gil Scott-Heron | Pieces of a Man

I saw my daddy greet the mailman
And I heard the mailman say
“now don’t you take this letter to heart now Jimmy
Cause they’ve laid off nine others today”

August 7, 2021 · 1 Comment

Majid Naficy: Billie Holiday

I walk gently on the skin of the sea.
A wandering wind wraps around our bodies
And an albatross opens its wings on our shoulders.

March 9, 2021 · 1 Comment

Neil Shepard: That Sad Clapping

applause that crushes the way the singer comes back
into the song

December 31, 2020 · 5 Comments

Michael Simms: Blue Notes

I think of Fats Waller whose left hand leaped down the keys, showing the path for every jazz pianist who followed, including the great Art Tatum and the minor Billy Joel.

November 28, 2020 · 11 Comments

Audio: Art Tatum | Tiger Rag

“I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house” — Fats Waller, on Art Tatum

November 28, 2020 · 2 Comments

Video: Club des Belugas | Straight to Memphis| Brenda Boykin

In this wildly original montage, Club Des Belugas pays tribute to African American entertainers in mid-century Hollywood.

November 7, 2020 · 1 Comment

Video: That’s my jazz

Milt Abel II, a world renowned pastry chef, reflects on his relationship with his late father Milton Abel Sr., a legendary Kansas City jazz musician.

September 12, 2020 · 1 Comment

Alexis Rhone Fancher: Listening to Bill Evans Play Stella By Starlight

. “I listen to Stella by Starlight and shiver deep in a nameless place.” – Gary Lemons     Side tracked, hijacked, The words unnecessary, but Each syncopated  Lyric, each … Continue reading

September 12, 2020 · 3 Comments

Audio: Gil Scott-Heron | Home Is Where the Hatred Is

Home is where the needle marks
Try to heal my broken heart

August 29, 2020 · 4 Comments

Video: Oscar Peterson | Hymn To Freedom

Live in Denmark, 1964. Oscar Peterson on Piano. Ray Brown on Bass. Ed Thigpen on Drums.

August 16, 2020 · 3 Comments

David Huddle: Villanelle for Lady Day

Billie said, “If I’m going to sing like someone
else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” Let’s
just say I was white and knew how to conform.

June 18, 2020 · 2 Comments

Cornelius Eady: Nina’s Blues

We drum rest
We drum thank you
We drum stay.

May 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Audio: Jack Kerouac reads “October in the Railroad Earth”

Jack Kerouac’s paean to San Francisco. Jack Kerouac (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a … Continue reading

April 26, 2015 · 1 Comment

Video: Jack Kerouac — “McDougall Street Blues”

Jack Kerouac speaks while Steve Allen plays jazz piano. With video clips of New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. A beautiful piece of collaborative work capturing the mood … Continue reading

April 4, 2015 · 2 Comments

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