Art, Everything, issue 51

Anna Wanda Gogusey

Qui est-tu? Comment est-tu devenue illustratrice? Quel a été ton parcours?  J’ai toujours dessiné, et au moment où tout le monde s’arrête, en primaire ou au collège, j’ai continué. C’est ce que j’ai toujours voulu faire, même si on a essayé de m’en décourager en me répétant que ce n’était pas un vrai métier. Après […]

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Creative Nonfiction, Everything, issue 51

Homegrown by Iris Yu

I am thinking about the way 姥姥 dices cucumber. Her skin is thick from bleeding and healing, bleeding and healing, a sinusoidal function acting independent of the moon. She does not fear the knife’s edge and I am thinking, now, about the dark of her hands against mine. Between the two of us, we are […]

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Everything, issue 51, Poetry

Some Fears by Skye Wilson

Cockroaches / getting pregnant / never having children / menstrual cups / hanging upwithout saying I love you seconds before someone dies / my dad crashing on his way topick me up from the station / my train crashing, blood and bones and tangled hair lefton the tracks / sloths and their strange hands / […]

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Everything, issue 51, Poetry

singularity by Malcolm Slutzky

i want to devourmy loneliness& throw it upon the page.you told me oncepoems need each otherthe way humans do. that night,the moon was so brightit wrote your shapeon the sidewalk. you had eyesas wide as mercury& i rememberfalling into you,letting your handsclose around melike an atmosphere. in the morning,was the sun.in the morning,you kissed mein […]

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Everything, issue 51, Poetry

Valhalla by Emily M. Goldsmith

My mother remembers teaching herselfhow to draw stars on a foggy windowwhen she was five, fifty-five years ago.Most of us look to the sky for release. My neighbor, at dinner, proposes thatwe are but molecules. That perhaps ouruniverse exists as one fabric weavedinto a shirt and our beyond just wool. Many places are full of […]

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Everything, issue 51, review

In Review: Spectrum of Flight by David Hanlon

In times like these, coping with stress and change and seemingly unavoidable hopelessness, David Hanlon’s Spectrum of Flight is a testament to perserverance. His poems outline his strength and growth as he walks us back through his own life, showcasing many moments when he was knocked down and stood up again, a little taller each […]

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Art, Everything, issue 51

Featured Artist: Anna Wanda Gogusey

Anna Wanda Gogusey‘s work probably looks familiar, because it is everywhere. Her colorful illustrations and the white eyes that makes them so unique adorn everything from advertising campaigns and magazine covers to festival posters and feminist podcasts. Aside from being one of the most successful French illustrators today, working with national and international newspapers such […]

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Everything

Best of the Net 2020 Nominees

We’re thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2020 Best of the Net anthology. Nonfiction: How to Have It All by Audrey T. Carroll The First Day of April is a Joke by Jasmine Ledesma Poetry: At the Chapel in the DSW Airport by Chloe N. Clark After Images by Eunice Kim (((A Reminder))) by Erin Kirsh […]

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Everything

Issue 50 | August 2020

To celebrate our 50th issue, we invited former contributors to share video readings of work originally published here in Vagabond City Lit. We’re awfully proud of the artists and writers we’ve published since 2013 and always excited to see the incredible new work we’re sent each month. Thank you to the contributors who helped with […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 49

Featured Artist: Lorena Lohr

Lorena Lohr started taking photographs when she was travelling around the United States at age 20. Her pictures give off a peaceful sense of stillness, contrasting with the ever moving way they were shot. Lorena does not photograph people but objects, traces of people’s existence, from a leftover maraschino cherry on a plate to a […]

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Everything, Issue 49, Poetry

Home Team by Francisca Matos

we still believed in hot lemon water in the morning, still believed in the miracle of breaking out into a dance anywhere, never quieting down, the rookie optimism that our best parts would remain the same no matter where or who we shared them with. now every summer something like grief tears inside our bellies, […]

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Everything, Issue 49, Poetry

Strawberries by jd hegarty

I had a dream about holding yourhand. My skin was hot and I woke—nervous. I had a dreamwhere you kissed me. My hearthovered above my body. Ispent hours trying to recover.I had a dream about strawberries,we were eating strawberries,the sky was blue, birds sang,you knew their names, but mostlyyou were there, and we were eatingstrawberries […]

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Everything, Issue 49, Poetry

Sailing by Nathan Spoon

Today you will reorder yesterday for the sake oftomorrow. Something will bubble and froth behindyour left ear leaving behind a sensation like whenyou first bite into a perfect and juicy apple. I havean eye and a tongue and a soul for juice and so feelbold about this assertion. Even when we are apartmy mind fills […]

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Everything, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Black Lives Matter | June 2020

To our readers, The Vagabond City Lit staff stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all those protesting against police brutaality and anti-Black violence. We condemn the police murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the many more Black lives ended […]

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Everything, Issue 48, Poetry

nightmares of my father dying by Liam Strong

you tell me ice wants to be warm. a television screen, spastic with tiny spines,warm from my fingerprint smeared across its face. i do this to you, but i am not pricked. before work, a bundle of coriander stripped by the night’s wind on the porch-step.once, when little, i constructed a fence from the broken […]

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Everything, Issue 48, Poetry

Purple Devil Emoji by Trevor Eichenberger

HornyTopNow proposes a sexorcism            in your DMs when he writes: let me fuck the hell out of you He must think his penis is God’s            gift if he can save you from damnation, but you don’t believe him.            You’re atheist & to you, angels are just            a slutty Halloween costume. If there is a devil, […]

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Art, Everything, interview, Issue 48

Featured Artist: Georgie Wileman

Georgie Wileman, born in 1988, is a British photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her photographic projects document intimate experiences of pain and social injustice: with THIS IS ENDOMETRIOSIS, she demystifies a still misunderstood illness which she’s suffered from her entire life, while To Thy Own Self Be True denounces the dehumanization of transgender people […]

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Everything, interview, Issue 48, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Interview: George Abraham

George Abraham spoke with VCL’s Michelle Betters in early May about their first full-length collection of poems, BIRTHRIGHT. In the words of Naomi Shihab Nye, this is a “sizzling, flaring” book that merits multiple readings. But it’s also, as George explains below, a hot mess of prose, traditional poetry forms, erasure, and ekphrasis. In other […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 47

Featured Artist: Augusto BM

This month’s featured artist, Augusto BM, is a Brazilian illustrator with a talent for creating entire aesthetic universes with only a pen and paper, or through the otherworldly collages that compose his Instagram stories. Influenced by the art of ancient civilizations, which he discovered while studying History, Augusto’s artwork explores the relationship between nature and […]

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Everything, Issue 47, Poetry

Will / Inherit by Ben Kline

Suddenly / late summer / shirtless in the loft / he watches me / surmount the top rung / Soft timothy exhaling June / The twine breaks / spreading blue / purple florets on which we lie / about men / the Virgin / glistening skin / senators and welfare / other things we cannot […]

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Everything, Issue 47, Poetry

Holding Pattern by Cliff Saunders

I. It’s tough to admit, but I can’t stopbaby-talking to the guillotinein my closet. I can’t stop wearing orangeand clicking like a house in the sun.I just want to find love, testifyto the power of pedestrian walkwaysthrough the minefields of early death.No reason for me to be inconclusive,circus-like in my heart. I belongto the ice […]

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Everything, Issue 47, Poetry

Untitled Fear of Intimacy: Celibacy by Ashley Taylor

Three days after swearing off sex, I message an old tinder date. We talk about coming home to ourselves, recovery, and tarot. She asks me, in what ways do you want to be more grounded?  And I want to tell her about Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden, how fifteen hundred steel spheres lay on the ground, and reflect via convex—how the viewer […]

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Everything, Issue 47, Poetry

Untitled Mise-en-abyme by Ashley Taylor

The incapacity to name is a symptom of disturbance. Operator / Operator, I could not join the troupe of myselfobserved by the lens. The windowpane and the landscape make it very difficult to focus. In order to “see”Myself / beloved “myself” / which is light, divideddoesn’t hold still, giggling in my jar. We all have our secret […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 46

Featured Artist: Hannah Rae Powell

Hannah Rae Powell began illustrating to distract herself from her career, and she did it so well that it became almost like a second one. Her playful, colorful illustrations evoke Matisse’s La Danse adorned with floral patterns. They have seduced thousands of followers on Instagram, as well as gallerists and fashion brands. Hannah lives in […]

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Everything, Issue 46, review

In Review: Repetition Nineteen by Mónica de la Torre

Mónica de la Torre’s marvelous work of art and language, Repetition Nineteen, weaves its way into the world this month to make our lives a little brighter. A vivid and thoughtful bilingual book, this work inspires readers to consider the misunderstandings and reliability of translating and code-switching, and gives us permission to fill in the […]

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Everything, Issue 46, Poetry

Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 by Esther Sun

            After Antonín Dvořák Mvt. I: Allegro in / the belly / of / the woods / we toss kindling into a pit // jagged geometry /of combustion // strike matches on our skin //watch the campfire work / its teeth through mountain blackness // & I am incendiary // north windlurching / in from / upper / […]

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Everything, Issue 46, Poetry

LAY ME ON THE TABLE + PUT FLOWERS IN MY MOUTH by Matt Mitchell

                      a hue of hospital neon                       sits above exposed cotton guts                                  of waiting room sofa in the early hours of my procession, morning orange draws a halo            around my pale head.  there’s a field in the midwest where be a man still echoes            off the corners of tick-painted weeds resting atop a cliff overlooking a shallow marsh.  it is too late to go back,                                  one of the […]

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Everything, Issue 46, Poetry

Feral by A. Prevett

                                                     after Anne Sexton’s “Yellow” When I finally feel safety again I’ll work it around in my mouthuntil it’s all balled up, I’ll spit it out, I’ll bury it shallow in a loamy field. I’ll plant a shield of sunflowers around it, I’ll encircle them with apricotpits, I’ll pluck every downy feather in sight, I’ll write a poem called Feral […]

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Art, Everything, issue 45

Featured Artist: Sacrée Frangine

The phrase “sacrée frangine” is so idiomatic to French that it is impossible to translate it into English with exactitude. The word “sacrée” literally translates to “sacred”, but paired with a substantive, it becomes equivalent to the expression “a hell of a”, while “frangine” (informal) means “sister”. A “sacrée frangine” is a “sacred sister” and […]

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Everything, issue 45, Poetry

Think: Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but Sexy by Schuyler Peck

IMAGINE I’M SMALL. IMAGINE I’M SO SMALLYOU COULD POP ME IN YOUR MOUTH & I’D SLEEP UNDER YOUR TONGUE. THINK A CROSS BETWEEN TIC-TACS AND HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, BUT SEXY. TOGETHER WE’D TALK ABOUT YOUR DAY, ABOUT THE WEATHER. WE’D DREAM OF CAMPFIRES, WHETHER BAGEL BITES ARE REALLY AS GOOD AS WE REMEMBER. IN THIS STORY, I’M SMALL BECAUSE […]

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Everything, issue 45, Poetry

(((A Reminder))) by Erin Kirsh

Erin Kirsh is queer, Jewish writer and performer living in Vancouver. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in The Malahat Review, EVENT, Cosmonauts Avenue, Geist, and The Molotov Cocktail, where she won their Shadow Award for poetry. Visit her at www.erinkirsh.com.

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Everything, issue 45, Poetry

Crossing the US-MX International Border by Luisana Cortez

 everyday we cross     over green water  each step slow and            heavy with stirring  traffic is both ha —    lting and out of breath, here  a suspension nest —    led in the light and  still touching concrete    this walk on the early  hall, each socketed —    morning on our eye —  lids gauze light begins    stubborn opening its  face bit by bit wait […]

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Everything, issue 44, Poetry

LETTERS FROM THE KITCHEN PANTRY by VIVIEN SONG

I renounce rice when I am nine, the way one          might renounce Barbie dolls, or multiplicationsheets, or vocabulary quizzes—unpretentious,          without pomp. Baba continues to serve me braised pork belly and tomatoes with egg, eyes soft like          steamed gingered fish, never once picking at thehaggard bones of autumn: how I unearthed dead          silkworms from the garden, or how I would […]

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Everything, issue 44, Poetry

HORNET JUMPS HIGHER by DAN MCKEON

should i learn pythonshould 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 andshould i trap the little ghostliving in the weird room in the basement we never go in or talk […]

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Everything, issue 44, Poetry

UNREMEMBERING by KAVI KSHIRAJ

you slip out the open door of my spine. when i pass you in dim-lit hallways, my fingers brush your wrists, lingering, unbodied. i dream of you – perched in air, eyes strange and diya-limned. my throat is still cupped between your hands.  i do not take it back. i dream of girlhood: unhesitant, unblinking. saying, relentlessly.  – i […]

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