Vox Populi

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

Mike James: Trying to Pray

Some nights I dream of hands holding water
Some nights they are a man’s hands
Some nights a woman’s

February 1, 2021 · 2 Comments

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

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