Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jason Irwin: Landscape

See the men break through the early morning mistlike phantoms from a dream; their hat brims
pulled low, shirt sleeves rolled above elbows,
boots caked with last week’s mud.

April 16, 2020 · 2 Comments

Robert Gibb: A Paragraph for W. Eugene Smith

“The infinite mistake of Pittsburgh does not take from the fact that the set of photographs is among my finest.”

March 12, 2020 · 2 Comments

Vox Populi: An Interview With Our Editor

On Friday, we caught up with poet, blogger, editor and activist Michael Simms at his kitchen table where he was preparing his Saturday morning post for Vox Populi.

February 22, 2020 · 22 Comments

Jason Irwin: Smoke Rising

Back then to see dark clouds of smoke
rising above the housetops meant that God, in his wisdom and mercy,
was still on our side.

February 5, 2020 · Leave a comment

Kristofer Collins: A Poem for Michael Wurster

The only connection I felt to the mills
was to the children of a generation of flayed men
on unemployment, the storefronts boarded…

November 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Enactments of Identity

Years ago the friend of a friend called me
A “Professional Irishman.” Fair enough.

March 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Worker, Steel Mill

Photograph by W. Eugene Smith, c. 1955 . Bug-eyed in those glare-filled goggles, He’s gauntleted and cassocked, garbed To be garbed in fire, which forms a lake On the floor … Continue reading

January 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Deskulling the Slag Pots

i.   You’d see them in the railyard, Coupled and waiting in line To be topped off with that cargo Tapped from the blast furnaces: Magma they’d freight nightly Along … Continue reading

September 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

“Sharecropper’s Work Shoes” —Photo by Walker Evans, 1936 . The Magritte who took issue with the ordinary Would have tipped them with toes.   Evans, deferential, simply sets them before … Continue reading

April 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Home Scrap Project — Unemployed Steel Worker, 1987-1988

for Ramon Elouza . Close-ups in an eye-level lineup, His photographed faces hung on their wall, Each behind lines of writing,   well I lost my job my wife and … Continue reading

March 28, 2018 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: After the Reading

White cups floating above the waters in their cut-glass vase, The tulips have finally opened, while beside her— Pittsburgh, winter—windows shimmer with freezing rain.   It’s the morning after the … Continue reading

January 8, 2018 · 3 Comments

Robert Gibb: The Culture Wars

“The Ten Commandments is based on what this country was made of.” This from one of the protestors, unhappy the Mosaic tablets are gone this year from the courthouse lawn … Continue reading

November 7, 2017 · Leave a comment

Robert Gibb: Night’s Flock

Solstice: the summer’s premium darkness.   And with it, for the first time in years, The raspy whinnying of screech owls fills my trees.   Their fledglings’ post-nest points of … Continue reading

August 30, 2017 · 1 Comment

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