artist: Emeka Ogboh
March 7th, 2014 | 9:00am

Lagos, Nigeria is growing fast but travels slow. The city, which is Africa’s largest, has doubled in population within the past seventeen years, crowding its roads and bridges with many millions of people – too many for the city's recent infrastructure investments to keep up. Traffic jams, called go-slows, ensue. But while Danfos, the yellow minibuses that are public transportation in Lagos, tend to get stuck, its passengers don’t. While buses crawl, Lagosians move: playing street music, revving engines, hawking products, shouting directions and taking phone calls.

 

Image of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost "Poetic Dialogue" silhouettes courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell on Flickr Creative Commons.
March 6th, 2014 | 8:00am

Image of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost "Poetic Dialogue" silhouettes courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell on Flickr Creative Commons.

The first Thursday of each month, The Common showcases an audio recording of a poem from our print issue archive, read by the author.  This month, Cody Walker reads "Cradle Song," originally published in Issue 02.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user David Breizh
March 5th, 2014 | 9:00am

 

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user David Breizh

the window is freezing into a lake

and nothing on its surface has vertebrae

 

I want my oily feathers back

March 4th, 2014 | 9:00am

 

Eleanor Stanford is the author of the memoir História, História: Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands, and of a poetry collection, The Book of Sleep. Stanford’s essay “Geology Primer (Fogo, Cape Verde)” was published in Issue No. 06 of The Common. Fellow Philadelphian Zinzi Clemmons chatted with Stanford about poetic form, the importance of language, and ways to feel at home in the world.

 

reviewed by TERESE SVOBODA
March 3rd, 2014 | 9:00am

Begin with the cover of Dragon Logic: double Garamond italic ampersands. Inverted they propose elegant dragons against a green hide background. “TWO dragons,” Stephanie Strickland writes in the eponymous poem, “keep a pearl/in the air untouched/if yes then no if no then yes.” Their “dragon logic” insists that the reader consider sets that consist of themselves, a common problem in questions of reflexivity where the self of the self-reference is a human self.