HORNET JUMPS HIGHER by DAN MCKEON

should i learn python
should i buy a praying mantis 
should i start wearing pendants 
am i a pendant idiot now 
am i getting the hang of it or being annoying?

is it a nail or a needle in my eye and
should i trap the little ghost
living in the weird room in the basement 
we never go in or talk about,
the one we’d lock to keep 
whatever’s in or out there
out or in there and
will i ever see it again?
the little ghost,

the void or the light in my head, or
can i get a restart
can i bring my roommate
can you feed my mantis
(she can’t hunt for herself)
should i learn java
should i tip my murderer for 
excellent customer service


Dan McKeon (they/them) is a poet and editor living in Philly-ish, Pennsylvania. They’ve had work published in Peach Mag, Foundlings and Riggwelter Press, as well as a microchap about Greninja titled ‘Water Dork’ from Ghost City Press. Dan is the editor-in-chief of a postal-oriented lit mag called Pretty Cool Poetry Thing (www.poetrything.cool) and tweets @dnmckn.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.