Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Mike James: Player Piano

Every song is like mice walking slowly across tin.

January 14, 2020 · Leave a comment

Mike James: Travel Ghazal

for Larry   Give me a wash cloth and I will find a river to Dip it in.  I will bathe in memory and in loss.   Whenever the sky … Continue reading

August 30, 2018 · 2 Comments

Mike James: The Monk’s Couch

. Frank The Balloon Man Honestly, he hated children. Hated their laughs and the miniature gaps of their smiles. Hated the clutching need of their fingers. He hated the parents. … Continue reading

February 28, 2018 · 1 Comment

Mike James: This Life

. This Life Yesterday a half-built mansion. Open to rain, racoons, and a few young, stray vandals. Today a hunter’s shack, cold in the woods, where shadows gather around a … Continue reading

January 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mike James: Tu Fu, In Exile, In Middle Age

calm lake a mirror to the mountains at the center a fisherman’s boat rests   tu fu, so long away from the capital, envies the fisherman and his net   … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · 1 Comment

Mike James: Marriage Proposal — A Found Poem

free estimate available   inventory includes socks, shoes, books, kitchen utensils, tooth paste tubes, headaches, hard laughs, affection nearly always, sickness real and imagined, gravity induced wrinkles and frowns   … Continue reading

April 6, 2017 · 1 Comment

Mike James: What You Do

where i don’t feel quite as crazy with all my obsessions, peculiarities, hang ups, and ticks with all my lists of what’s worked what hasn’t at the job, at life, … Continue reading

October 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mike James: Memoir

  he wanted to be alone after a while was   still, even without people there was light at the window   it hung from a tree on one leaf … Continue reading

September 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mike James: Since You Left

my clothes don’t match the way painters and sunday school teachers say they should a friend told me it looks like you’ve given up trying i know what he meant, … Continue reading

August 20, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mike James: What I Know About Poetry

  some things keep happening   a rock rolls down a hill, bounces, bounces, rolls along makes a sound every time it bumps the dirt cracks itself and the silence … Continue reading

July 15, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mike James: Notes Towards An Informal Elegy

  a nurse at her desk said, as i walked past, your friend is very profane yes, i said, he cusses creatively in two languages   ***   your hospital … Continue reading

June 7, 2016 · 2 Comments

Mike James: Letter from the Islands on a Common Theme

at the bottom of one ocean sits a rock that hides another ocean   at the bottom of that ocean another rock hides another ocean   then another rock, another … Continue reading

May 12, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mike James: In Another Life

he wanted to be a desperado like in movies from the 1930’s whole world dusty, black and white he even loved the word desperado how it rhymes with bandelero how … Continue reading

April 28, 2016 · Leave a comment

Mike James: Swimming in the Rain

  no lightning warns her from the river so she swims on and on, across   the rain little more than drizzle not as strong as the water she’s in … Continue reading

April 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

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