Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Okaji: Five poems

What’s wrong, you ask.
I’ve breathed your dream too
long, I say. Now I must wake.

August 6, 2019 · 12 Comments

Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Sees

Da Vinci maintained that sight relies on the eye’s central line, yet the threads holding my ocular buttons in place weave through four holes and terminate in a knot. My … Continue reading

January 31, 2019 · Leave a comment

Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Believes

What is a ghost if not misplaced energy, an apprehension or the sum of invisible integers and the properties they possess? I preside over this sea of maize, tracking clouds, … Continue reading

December 7, 2018 · 3 Comments

Robert Okaji: The Theory and Practice of Rebellion

Such small lives we’ve led, diffident, quiet, until provoked.   Remove our words, we become steel and sharp stone, fletched softwood splitting the air, string reverberating, singing resist, resist.   … Continue reading

November 6, 2018 · 8 Comments

Robert Okaji: Aleppo

A father sings to his son, dead two days, and the platitudes persist. Widow of night. Lantern’s trick. What trace, you wonder, exists of humanity in these etched walls? Light … Continue reading

August 16, 2018 · 2 Comments

Robert Okaji: Letter to Marshall from the Scarecrow’s Pocket

Dear Daniel: How fortunate we are to tap into this medium of ether and zeros and ones and all the combinations employed in our paperless context. I am drawn to … Continue reading

July 24, 2018 · 1 Comment

Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Votes

I am no citizen, but here I reside in the fields among my dark friends. We’ve laughed together, but they will not miss me. One day I’ll vanish without ceremony, … Continue reading

June 20, 2018 · 13 Comments

Robert Okaji: The Question is Never

Who will lock the door or leap in front of the jacketed   bullet. Nor is it four words born in lust and camouflaged   with piety. No one cares … Continue reading

June 5, 2018 · 1 Comment

Robert Okaji: Sometimes Love is a Dry Gutter

Or a restless leaf, a footprint.   Is fault on a blameless day, scrawled on a washed-out sky.   My friend’s music orbits his home, worms through the cracks in … Continue reading

January 17, 2018 · 6 Comments

Robert Okaji: Letter to Gierke from the Future’s Past

Dear Ken: I’m fixated on open faucets and drained tanks, on cracked PVC and browned grass, denial and what’s to come, thinking of old dogs and accusations and how the … Continue reading

December 13, 2017 · 2 Comments

Robert Okaji: Snails

How convenient to carry a home on one’s back, I think, disregarding heft and plumbing and the shape of rooms too hollow to feel. Yesterday a box of African chapbooks … Continue reading

October 20, 2017 · 2 Comments

Robert Okaji: Scarecrow Calls Out the Man

These things I cannot name: that finger of night between fear and peace, in which darkness both cloaks and hugs the wide-eyed. A snake, in the open. And that space … Continue reading

August 23, 2017 · 29 Comments

Robert Okaji: Self-Portrait with Knife

Originally posted on O at the Edges:
Self-Portrait with Knife Lacking benefit of prayer or belief, it slips through flesh, praising its temerity. Or, parting the onion’s core, reclaims the…

January 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Robert Okaji: In Praise of Gravity

Originally posted on O at the Edges:
In Praise of Gravity Which bestows weight or slings me around some other heavenly body, a version of you wondering whether I’ll rise…

December 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

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