Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Joan E. Bauer: Bird’s Landing, Monongahela

They were flying steady in the winter of ’56, from Nevada, the B-25, six men on board, three pilots and crew bound east. At a stop in Oklahoma, the snow … Continue reading

January 9, 2019 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: The Camera Artist

In 1955, Swiss-born Robert Frank criss-crossed the United States. From 27,000 shots, 83 images:  The Americans. Factory workers in Detroit,  transvestites in New York City. Billowing American flags, gossamer-thin & torn. … Continue reading

December 9, 2018 · 2 Comments

Joan E. Bauer: Duckweed  

In Branchville, New Jersey, home of Bear Swamp, I’m with the Frugal Traveler & to prove I’m no stranger to frugality, I find a $57-a-night special with a bathroom painted … Continue reading

October 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: A Thousand Pigeons

Robbie, Paul & I met Carlin at the Hamburger Hamlet in Westwood in 1970. Carlin had a big laugh & shiny hair, but behind the jokes, a serious guy. He … Continue reading

September 19, 2018 · 1 Comment

Joan E. Bauer: Remembering V. S. Naipaul at the Dawn of a Dark Century

The November rain rat-tats, beads on the window. I scratch words, anxious birds on a yellow pad.   In your cottage in Wiltshire, perhaps you are writing. Your anguished Asiatic … Continue reading

August 20, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: River Dolphin of the Yangtze

We sailed on a river boat down the Yangtze twenty years ago—before the Three Gorges Dam   & the rising water lowered the mountains. That day the peaks shrouded with … Continue reading

June 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: Tribal

Grandpa Joe was nearly born in steerage from Palermo, but landed in Texas.   He loved watching Jimmy Durante on TV. The Great Schnozzola, a man of his tribe.   … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: Eight Notes on the Rain   

Kien waited for death, calmly recognizing             that it would be ugly and inelegant. -Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War   1 spring rain, like ether, daubs down memory, mutes … Continue reading

April 16, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: Dramatic Monologue — Joseph Brodsky

We tap dance down the highway. There’s an exit. Who made me a pharoah? Dare I gesture — or reach for a cigarette?   Shouldn’t I be on the banks … Continue reading

April 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: Col. John Stapp, Fastest Man in the World

What saved me were those years in Alamogordo when I was nine & ten, unfettered, unsupervised, so I could build wooden carts, play with bows   & arrows, roam empty … Continue reading

January 31, 2018 · 1 Comment

Joan E. Bauer: Manzanar

Manzanar   for Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston,             author of Farewell to Manzanar   The word, Spanish for apple orchard but by 1942, no orchards in the Owens Valley.   Water … Continue reading

October 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

Joan E. Bauer: Dreaming of Prague  

I can almost imagine the euforie those first days of Revolution.   The crowds at Wenceslas Square. Even the police cheering.   Václav Havel riding a pedal scooter through the … Continue reading

June 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: Birthday in Beijing

April thunderclouds in battleship formation but the rain is light as we touch down. At last, the swarming, noisy, candy-   colored streets of the city. Breakfast: soy boiled eggs, … Continue reading

April 19, 2017 · 1 Comment

Joan E. Bauer: Lowell & Bishop — Letters from the Road

The robins are shrieking as they do before a storm she wrote Lowell who wanted to marry her,   but she knew better. Come to Yaddo, he wrote. There’s a … Continue reading

April 5, 2017 · 4 Comments

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