Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: On These Passing Hours of Butterflies and Dangerous Living

In my darker hours I like to imagine a knitting club
where no one is allowed to smile.

September 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: In Proclamation to the Emperors of Agony

Seeing an audience in Central Park holding up their middle fingers in unison is one of my fondest memories—even though I wasn’t among those for whom the finger was intended.

August 21, 2021 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Silent Tongues in the House of the Rising Sun

what’s even more beautiful
is that tonight in my small sleepy town
I can look up to the sky and see
a deep blue silence surrounding
a half, nearly see-through moon

June 12, 2021 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Head Over Heels

At the doctor’s office in Charlottesville, Virginia
to investigate the possible reasons
for my ten-month-old son’s large head,
the doctor measures my own
and informs me that my head size
is off the curve, off the charts

May 25, 2021 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Directions in Music and Other Ways of Approaching the Day

what he wants to do
sounds better than
what I want to do
we sit in the car
and listen
until the song is over

April 22, 2021 · 6 Comments

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

Jose Padua: To the Ruling Class and All the Fearful Acolytes of Its Pale Supremacy

the sweetly subtle strength of a great
and rarely spoken language

February 25, 2021 · 4 Comments

Jose Padua: Stray Cats and the Prospect of Evenings Illuminated by the Full Moon

I wonder about things that may one day rise slowly
from beneath dry, brown grass; the beautiful sights
made visible by the drifting off of clouds, and the
slow telling of tall tales under the hunter’s full moon.

January 5, 2021 · Leave a comment

David Adès: Tomorrow

the day ticks inexorably by with its seepage of light, and I note the stirring in the air
as neither warning nor blessing

December 22, 2020 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Ten Sonnets for Electric Motherfuckers

What thou lovest well remains electric like the ocean’s
breaking waves; what you break turns dialectic like
a brick thrown through the window of an oligarch’s
flagship store.

August 30, 2020 · 5 Comments

Jose Padua: On Driving up Stonewall Jackson Highway with the Intention of Declaring Sovereignty Over the Surrounding Territories

I drive with the windows
rolled down
and the stereo
turned up loud
to Ella Fitzgerald
singing “Blue Skies”
as I look up

August 13, 2020 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: And I Walked Through the Market and Stared at the Harbor Lights Through the Soft Rain

And sometimes the best way
to express belief of any kind
is to laugh

July 18, 2020 · 2 Comments

Jose Padua: Reflections on a Lesson that Would Soon Be Made More Clear to Me by Gil Scott-Heron

In 1971 I’m
thirteen years old
watching a big
Vietnam war protest
on television

June 13, 2020 · 6 Comments

Michelle Bitting: Walls

Worst I had to deal with, well, I suppose that time my son was shut in a padded room and shit himself at the special needs school. He was 13 and having one helluva wiring crisis. I got called to come get him after he graffitied his feces across white walls.

June 1, 2020 · 2 Comments

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