Sandy Solomon: Lost, Departed, Late

Heartbreaking. This is what poetry is for.

Vox Populi

 
In the Serengeti four elephants rest without heads,
bodies rising like boulders from the plain,
their slight, curling trunks uprooted beside them
as buzzards fall and, greedy, rend,
and day spreads, red, automatic, rifled.
 
Watch for a long time the great, gray hulls
hacked at the neck, intimate loads of muscle
and blood overflowing the ground, a rose 
that shocks the drab olive-brown scrub 
and ground and glistens on the moving beaks.
 
Oh where are the long, bony foreheads,
thin wings of ears, mouths that seemed to smile
while chewing acacia leaves or grass,
debonair tusks jutting like stiff, white mustaches? 
Where the bag men, where the keepers?
 
Ask the horizon, empty of gesture.
Ask the browsing chorus that always arrives in time.

--
 
Copyright 1996 Sandy Solomon. First published in Pears,
Lake, Sun by University of Pittsburgh Press. Included in
Vox Populi by permission…

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Video: Blue

Vox Populi

blue
/bluː/
adjective

I. of a colour intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day.
“the clear blue sky”

II. (of a person or mood) melancholy, sad, or depressed.
“he’s feeling blue”

Filmed across NSW, Australia, BLUE is the latest short from Dom West, following Joe Atkinson, a professional Inline Skater at the peak of his athletic abilities. In a sport that is all too often overlooked or misrepresented, through Joe’s movements, the film attempts to showcase both the artistic aesthetic and the meditative state that the act of inline skating offers.

Over the past two decades Dom’s passion for the moving image has developed into an obsession. A self-taught filmmaker with strong roots in extreme sports productions, Dom combines the aesthetic of DIY documentary filmmaking with high end cinematography.​

Featuring | Joe Atkinson
Directed by | Dom West
Produced…

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Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, Stephen Miles: Dismantle the War Economy

Vox Populi

To create real security, we must slash the Pentagon budget and invest in meeting everyone’s basic human needs.

2020 began with a near-war with Iran – the deadly upshot of a bomb-first-ask-questions-later approach to world affairs.

Then came a pandemic – a public health disaster made all the more lethal by our leadership’s utter indifference to the lives of the people, especially the poor and people of color.

Then the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. Three more names to the list of Black lives that didn’t matter to the state. An eruption of righteous rage. Even more police brutality in response.

The lesson of these historic months is clear: funneling trillions of dollars into institutions designed to violently protect the status quo – be they police or military – does not make ourselves, our loved ones, or our communities safer. Police budgets account for 30-60% of…

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Dissecting Scott Galloway’s interview with NYMag

Anthony Moretti, PhD

NYU business professor Scott Galloway makes a controversial statement in his New York Magazine interview: Because of coronavirus, the college experience in the U.S. as we know it will soon be on its death bed. As Galloway sees it, the “product” that is higher education has been exposed as “dramatically less compelling” and either can’t or shouldn’t be allowed to return to normal.

He states:

It will be like department stores in 2018. Everyone will recognize they’re going out of business, but it will take longer than people think. There will be a lot of zombie universities. Alumni will step in to help. They’ll cut costs to figure out how to stay alive, but they’ll effectively be the walking dead. I don’t think you’re going to see massive shutdowns, but there’s going to be a strain on tier-two colleges.

Galloway asserts that the future of higher education “will entail…

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Justin Vicari: Encounters with Rimbaud

Very inspiring encounter with Rimbaud.

Vox Populi

Golden Age 

 One of those always
 angelic voices
 — it echoes in both ears, —
 cuts through my haze:
 

 this rhizome
 of a thousand questions
 leads nowhere
 but drinking, madness;
 

 embrace this tower,
 so pleasant, so simple:
 it’s only wave, flora,
 and it’s your family!
 

 Then she starts singing. O!
 so pleasant, so simple,
 visible to the naked eye …
 — I sing with her, —
 

 embrace this tower,
 so pleasant, so simple:
 it’s only wave, flora,
 and it’s your family! … etcetera …
 

 Then, one voice
 — it isn’t angelic? — echoes around me, putting matters clear; and suddenly sings, my breathsister: with German tone yet passionate, round: the world is vicious if this even shocks us. See the unexplained disaster let it burn O pretty chateau how bright your life From what Era are you, princely character of our wondrous brother? etcetera … I too am singing: multiple…

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Ellery Akers: What I Know

Vox Populi

How to hold a kinglet in my hand so I don’t break its wings and it doesn’t bite my thumb, how it lies in my palm, stunned, until it starts up and bolts into the air I know the mustards—the Cruciferae— some of the snapdragons, some of the vetch— On the Farallones, I know the cliffs: the calls: the shrieking in the air I know the murmur from a thousand murre throats as a peregrine flies over the colony, and one by one, they take off, frightened, then dozens, hundreds, and sprinkle into the sea I know the sound of a humpback slapping the water with his fin, his breath stinking of krill, the sound of his spout like a steam engine hissing I’ve seen the way spray lifts over Arch Rock and runnels down and soaks all the sleeping sea lions so their pelts turn dark I’ve seen fish…

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Jason Baldinger: The Hymn at the End

Catches the spirit of the times….

Vox Populi

It’s a mediocre day to be fired

snow, mostly flurries, it’s been four years

since the last unemployment

life is different, more complicated

it feels as if you’re gonna suffocate

this is how I identified myself for four years

it was mostly loved, mostly like breathing

she asked through phone wires

what I was going to do next, she might have meant the big next

all I could think of was leaving, driving, motion on motion

.

three hours later I’m in Erie, and I have no idea why

I pass a sign the wind had its way with

now it saysWe Sell Blow. I stand shorelines

cigarette smoke mingling with flakes, wind

I feel defeated

I feel defeated

as if it wasn’t obvious before

this fucking game is rigged

give your soul, you will be asked for more

eat shit, you will be asked to eat more

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Marc Jampole: What exactly are “capitalism” and “socialism”?

Vox Populi

In the newspeak of political name calling, a New York Times reporter calls government ownership “capitalism,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, DC would lead to “socialism.” It’s time to review the meanings of these terms.

The problem with the news media talking about socialism in the context of the current election cycle is that most people—including most reporters and columnists—have no idea what socialism is and only a fuzzy notion of what capitalism is. What’s worse is that popular but inaccurate or misconceived definitions of the two words confuse the issue. A reporter may use the technical definitions of socialism and capitalism in an article, but her readers understand one of the several non-technical meanings of the two words, and may therefore not get the point of the article. It is more likely, however, that the reporter is misusing the words…

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Alexandra Minna Stern: White nationalists’ extreme solution to the coming environmental apocalypse

Fascinating connection between ecological concerns and Fascism.

Vox Populi

White nationalists around the world are appropriating the language of environmentalism.

The white nationalist who allegedly massacred 22 people in El Paso in early August posted a four-page screed on the chatroom 8chan. In it, the shooter blames his attack on the “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and the impending “cultural and ethnic replacement” of whites in America.

The shooter also refers directly to the lengthy manifesto written by the man who allegedly murdered 52 in March in attacks motivated by Islamophobia on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Christchurch shooter called himself an “ecofascist” who believes there is no “nationalism without environmentalism.” The El Paso shooter titled his rant “An Inconvenient Truth,” apparently in reference to Al Gore’s 2006 documentary warning about the dangers of climate change. He also praised “The Lorax,” Dr. Seuss’ classic story about deforestation and corporate greed.

The prominence of environmental themes in these…

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