Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Samuel Tieman: Self-portrait with folks in St. Louis

still I recall the rains in the islands
the cold in Mexico and how
I imagined my mother standing
on the porch looking south

February 27, 2020 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: The end of civilization as we know it

I want to apologize for walking in
When the dog was licking
Your bald head as you lay
On the couch drinking rum
Straight from the bottle…

January 18, 2020 · 23 Comments

Nick Turse: The Moral Injury of War

Some men are very nearly monsters, capable of killing without compunction or remorse. In the everyday civilian world, we generally seek to lock them up. In war, they have a chance to fully flower.

December 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Thank you for your service

At the gym the other day, a few of us old veterans were talking among ourselves. The subject drifted to how tired we are of that “Thank you for your … Continue reading

November 11, 2019 · 19 Comments

Andrew J. Bacevich: Reflections on “Peace” in Afghanistan

However great my distaste for President Trump, I support his administration’s efforts to extricate the United States from Afghanistan….Prolonging this folly any longer does not serve U.S. interests. Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you’re doing something really stupid, stop.

September 16, 2019 · Leave a comment

Philip Terman: Such Abundance

When he called for help,
they put him on hold
longer than he could stand
and he broke
the phone in half.

August 8, 2019 · 1 Comment

Audio: Martin Luther King — Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1967 – Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [Full and unabridged] “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence“, also referred as Riverside … Continue reading

April 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front (Chapter 12)

It is autumn. There are not many of the old hands left. I am the last of the seven fellows from our class. Everyone talks of peace and armistice. All … Continue reading

November 11, 2018 · 2 Comments

Video: Viet Thanh Nguyen

. As part of the Lannan Foundation Readings and Conversation series, Viet Thanh Nguyen is introduced by Maxine Hong Kingston, then reads from his work. Recorded March, 2017. . Viet … Continue reading

November 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Walking Drag

Here’s a little war story I never told anyone. Not a horror story or a trauma story. It’s just a story I never told anyone. So a little background. Vietnam. … Continue reading

September 13, 2018 · 1 Comment

Michaela Haas: 7 Strategies to Turn Trauma Into Strength

Survivors discover surprising benefits in the process of healing from a traumatic event. When Army surgeon Rhonda Cornum regained consciousness after her helicopter crashed, she looked up to see five … Continue reading

September 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Sherman: John McCain, dead at 81, helped build a country that no longer reflects his values

Arizona Sen. John McCain – scion of Navy brass, flyboy turned Vietnam war hero and tireless defender of American global leadership – has died after a year of treatment for … Continue reading

August 26, 2018 · 1 Comment

John Samuel Tieman: My Lai

March 16, 1968. Fifty years ago, U. S. soldiers killed as many as 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians. Perhaps the worst war crime in American history. Two years after that, I … Continue reading

March 20, 2018 · 1 Comment

W. D. Ehrhart: Beautiful Wreckage

In Vietnamese, Con Thien means
place of angels. What if it really was
instead of the place of rotting sandbags,
incoming heavy artillery, rats and mud.

June 19, 2017 · 3 Comments

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