Vox Populi

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

John Okrent: This Costly Season

I picture Whitman,
wending his way through wounded Union
soldiers—his democratic nostrils, the smell of dead
or dying flesh. And in all the dooryards, the smell of lilacs.

May 1, 2022 · 1 Comment

Dawn Potter: Now that I’m old

now that I don’t have sex every night or carry two fat boys,
one on each hip, up small mountains,
I have to go to exercise class

March 7, 2022 · 4 Comments

Danielle DeTiberus: In the Middle of Fucking You, I Pause

Twenty years together and yet
You were new to me again.

February 14, 2022 · 2 Comments

Christopher Bursk: The Plague in Early Spring

The first week in the first year of the plague,
when we told ourselves there was no plague,
the flowers were more than willing
to confirm our opinion.

September 7, 2021 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: The Pandemic Blues

Everyone around here is sluggish. The young woman who checks my purchases off the conveyor belt dabs her eyes and stifles a yawn. She keeps shaking herself awake as the … Continue reading

July 25, 2021 · 7 Comments

Sharon Fagan McDermott: The Summer of Nectarines

Plague on the winds, in the air,
on our tongues in the midst of old conversations.

June 30, 2021 · 2 Comments

Molly Fisk: You and I

the whole country snarled into such a hot mess
you wouldn’t recognize democracy if she
removed her skirts and danced on your lap for free,
pretending to like you.

May 10, 2021 · 3 Comments

Owen Hughes: Vaccination

After the shots
Not a fever
No side effect
Except this pause

March 23, 2021 · 2 Comments

Derrick Z. Jackson: States Dismantle COVID-19 Safety Protocols at Our Peril

Many policy makers have completely forgotten the deadly consequences of last spring’s abrupt, premature ending of lockdowns.

March 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

Rebecca Gordon: What Makes a “Good Job” Good?

These days, all I want to do is weave. The loom that’s gripped me, and the pandemic that’s gripped us all, have led me to rethink the role of work (and its subset, paid labor) in human lives.

March 11, 2021 · 4 Comments

Scott Silsbe: She Got My Mind Messed Up

Is something burning? Is something here
on fire? It smells like something here is
burning or on fire. It might be in my head.

February 11, 2021 · 5 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Trying to Get to School

But making my way from A to B
could not be managed easily.
Locked courtyard, blocked alleys, a high wall –
I had to cross or climb them all.

February 8, 2021 · 1 Comment

Linda Parsons: Visitations

Everything seems to glow richer before first frost, a last hurrah before the ghostly breath passes over.

December 22, 2020 · 11 Comments

Rachel Hadas: Shopping Upstairs

Terror, stasis, glints of hope.
Ghosts of evils that came before,
plague and depression, civil war,
take on new life. So here we are.

November 23, 2020 · 1 Comment

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