Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.

Paul Christensen: The Journey We All Must Take

When you’re a knee-scabbed, scruffy looking kid, a tree-climbing ruffian hanging from the neighbor’s crab apple tree and running away from some irate neighbor after soaping up his car windshield, on Halloween, you don’t know it but you are the unacknowledged expert of what it means to be living in your pre-pubescent body.

November 13, 2022 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Bennie Thompson Crusade

The closing remarks of Bennie Thompson were so pure in their simplicity and directness, I had to hold my breath.

October 16, 2022 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Cornhole Tournament

What happens when a large segment of a population finds itself displaced, bullied off the bench?

September 30, 2022 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Twit

I used to wander around on lower Broadway in Manhattan when I was still a teenager. I had a dead-end job at a valve company taking orders from plumbers wanting a gate valve or oversized coupling for an apartment building going up.

September 18, 2022 · 13 Comments

Paul Christensen: The First Chill Air of Summer’s End

The village bar is still serving lunch on the weekends, which is welcomed by us as a way of entertaining without having to cook the food, lay in some bottles of wine, find a dessert or make our own pastries. We just come in, sit on the terrace, order whatever is the main dish of the day, and slurp some cold rose or white wine while we amiably chat with our invited friends.

September 11, 2022 · 10 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Breaking of the Sky

We had been waiting for two long, agonizing months for rain to come, for anything to cast a veil over a furious sun that dried out fields, withered up grape vines, even discouraged the cicadas from droning in the pines. Now the rain started falling, thick, icy gobbets of it, drenching us the moment it struck.

August 28, 2022 · 7 Comments

Paul Christensen: What the Heat Demands of Us

We may not make it through this crisis. But no one can say for sure it is too late.

July 31, 2022 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: What Binds Us. Together

We’ve had two small heat waves since I arrived here in southern France in mid-June. Neither was terrible, neither quite made it to the level of a canicule, a blistering heat bloom usually starting out its career in northern Africa and drifting down onto western Europe where it stagnates over the red-tile roofs…

July 15, 2022 · 6 Comments

Paul Christensen: Return to France

And I come, suppressing my eagerness for as long as I can, until I burst with affection at the sound of a cork being pulled by a solemn waiter, who waits politely while I sink my liver into a pool of forgetfulness at the first sip.

July 3, 2022 · 7 Comments

Paul Christensen: Jasmine Blossoms

A chilly, damp, paralyzing Spring, with soggy skies and faded landscapes. Reality feels like a pair of washed-out blue jeans. But the ground keeps birthing its progeny of weeds and … Continue reading

June 3, 2022 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Earth Household

As the world rages to our east, and the fires flare up in Arizona, we have the first signs of spring – dark green spikes, crumbly surfaces around certain roots, … Continue reading

May 2, 2022 · 4 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Hinge of Summer’s Door

The vernal equinox came and went, like a cat creeping over the newly sprouted heads of anonymous weeds. You hardly knew, unless you were listening to NPR, that such an … Continue reading

April 4, 2022 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: Portrait of the Artist | James Dickey

He liked one phrase especially, “every word is a sunken Atlantis.” It said a lot about the way poetry functioned –every word in lyric was attached to a root mass of meanings, associations, feelings.

March 27, 2022 · 6 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Snow It Snoweth Every Day

I’m not complaining too loudly. The Ukrainians are out there on the hills waiting to get into Poland, and the snow is pelting their thin coats and caps and making the kids squirm up against their moms.

March 14, 2022 · 4 Comments

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