Everything, Issue 64, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Some Girls Walk Into the Country They Are From by Sawako Nakayasu

It’s complicated, reading poetry in translation. On the one hand, a reader may feel compelled to pursue translated poetry as a good “literary citizen,” as if the action’s moral correctitude were a bygone conclusion. Translated literature, the thought goes, can interrogate and pierce one’s cultural blindspots and preconceptions. If you exclusively read books written in […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 64

Featured Artist: Kyrsta Morehouse

This month’s featured artist is Kyrsta Morehouse, a Los Angeles-based photographer. Kyrsta is not only a photographer. She is originally a makeup artist, and started taking film and Polaroid photographs while working on film sets. She is also a poet, and her work has been published in several literary magazines. Last but not least, she […]

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Everything, Issue 63

Join the Vagabond City Team — Call for Art Edtior

We have a new opening for one volunteer position: Art Editor. See below for application details. Please note: all staff positions are volunteer and are thus unpaid. All positions are also virtual/remote. Art Editor (Posted September 20, applications due November 1) Each month, VC features a visual artist of various mediums and uses their art […]

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Everything, Issue 64, Poetry

Leaving the Kingdom by Anthony Aguero

Not the kingdom of God, being undecidedand all, nor the kingdom of this life, givenits many irregularities and the peach treewith its offspring of oranges but I admireand, dare I say it? love citrus and the decayit’s capable of. I’m capable if I want to be.It took this many years of licking salt cubes.I’m staring […]

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Everything, Issue 64, Poetry

The Future of Pumpkins by Nancy Lynée Woo

“Don’t promise a pumpkin and deliver a squash.” —Matthew Feinstein I. We nod. We sleep. We wake,wondering about the sun— every night, do we summon it?I wake up supercharged, heaving  barbells up a wall of mouths. I believe in poetry above all else. That doesn’t make me anythingbut a poor fish in a brilliant pond  of amniotic slug […]

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Everything, Issue 64, Poetry

Truism by Lyd Havens

For a brief moment I want to be (w)reckless—forget the weather, the smell of melted chocolate& jewelry rust on my grandmother’s dying skin.She said there were lemons growing outof my mouth. She knew the fruit but not my name. In the sun I am just another meltingthing. I smile at strangers with all my teeth.I […]

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Everything, Issue 64, Poetry

h a b i t u a t e by stevie redwood

you sprawl across the thistle of a weedy slope, bones splayed over the hill-belly,friends beyond your fingertips.fog between your teeth. you watch a scant coyote feebling along the flank. too much rib, less feral than winter. pluto yoking at the sun. light out of reach. this will become another day you don’t want to remember. it’s lucky you’re wired for forgetting. your housekeys,the trash you […]

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Everything, Issue 63, Poetry

A poem made entirely of questions by DT McCrea

I A swan is eating another swan.It is not beautiful.It is hideous, and bloody, and terrifying. It is also beautiful. II Your mother goes to the doctor and they finda shadow on her lung. When they open her up, insideher lung is a blossomed calendula. When the doctors askhow it got there she saysshe inhaled it […]

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Everything, Issue 63, Poetry

Vestigial Anatomy by Chukwuma Ndulue

I’ve become adept at shepherdingheartbreak to minute areas of the body,treating the lesions with smoothing iron and ice in equal measure.  I’m an imperfect mechanism,an unskilled plough hand—my pastures razed, my stained bones fallow.  I wish to beat my armsinto an instrument more useful to a worldthat’s full and waitingwith cocked hammers.           The mystery in my body          is spoiling in this climate: […]

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Everything, Issue 63, Poetry

i am so depressed i feel like jumping in the river behind my house but i won’t because i am twenty four and not eighteen by Jeremy T. Karn

after Sandra Cisneros,             in a nutshell,  i have returned to you like                              the way death returns when one gets depressed. grief has unlit everything in me back & forth,                              but i am jealous of the veinsthat form smiles on my face. Yeshua is jealous of me,                              i can do what he can’t do of me.  hallowed be […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 63

Featured Artist: Ninn Salaün

I discovered Ninn Salaün’s work when a painting of a sky at dusk all in pink and purple hues popped up on my Twitter feed. The picture came from Ninn’s account Reports From Unknown Places, on which she has been posting a picture of the sky with a caption explaining the meteorological events depicted everyday […]

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Everything, Issue 63, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: VILLAINY by Andrea Abi-Karam

Andrea Abi-Karam’s VILLAINY, out from Nightboat Books, is an energizing second collection. Building off of the signature style and questions raised by their debut EXTRATANSMISSION, this book weaves a whole new grain of vulnerability and introspection through its call. Their debut was invested in the critique of US military violence, of surveillance, via the performative […]

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Everything, Issue 63, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Best of the Net Nominees 2021

We’re thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2021 Best of the Net anthology: Creative Nonfiction: In Bermuda … by Stephen Foster Smith Homegrown by Iris Yu Poetry Fentanyl by Zachary Bond Making Pumpkin Pie in July with You by Stephanie Choi Doxycycline by Rob Colgate AN INTERNET QUIZ by Lucas Peel Witness by Samia Saliba They by Joanna C. Valente

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Everything, Issue 63

Join the Vagabond City Team — Call for Editor-in-Chief and Art Edtior

We have a new opening for two volunteer positions: Editor-in-Chief and Art Editor. See below for application details. Please note: all staff positions are volunteer and are thus unpaid. All positions are also virtual/remote. Editor-in-Chief (Posted August 23, applications due September 30)The Editor-in-Chief will begin work with VC in October/November following the publication of Issue […]

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Everything

Join the Vagabond City Team — Call for Editor-in-Chief

We have a new opening for one volunteer position: Editor-in-Chief. See below for application details. Please note: all staff positions are volunteer and are thus unpaid. All positions are also virtual/remote. Editor-in-Chief (Posted 8/23, applications due September 30)The Editor-in-Chief will begin work with VC in October/November following the publication of Issue 64. This is meant […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 62

Featured Artist: Zoé Lab

Who are you? My name is Zoe, and I grew up in the South West of France, lost in the middle of fields and vineyards. I read a lot of comics when I was a teenager, especially 90s comics by L’Association [a French comic books publisher], and it got me interested in visual storytelling. I […]

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Everything, Issue 62, Poetry

Kessler Syndrome

Earth is a ringed planet. A teenage faggot is a body orbiting low atmosphere The ground and its people swing them up like discus, but not enough to break Escape velocity. Thousands of blue-haired children float in the solar breeze Like a Kubrickian slide. The richest men on Earth launch garbage into the stars Like […]

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Everything, Issue 62, Poetry

Two Poems by Marti Irving

Home Improvement Amongst the implied violenceof the chain and rope aisle at Home Depot,I am emboldened to make let’s-fuck eyes at strangers.Then the soft amber of the lighting fixture sectionwrings me out and I want someone to please comeand pick me up, pluck me from a mean girls’ sleepover,drive me home and put me to […]

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Everything, Issue 62, Poetry

Chagrin Falls Between Us

for and after Kevin Bertolero Do you remember how it felt to be boys in the grass? Staining our every-thing, our nowripped jeans we wore through the knees? It was so big then, possibility; love waseverywhere and for everything. We rode our bikes to the base of the hill where theprefect tree was, we watched […]

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Everything, Issue 62, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Seed by Joanna Walsh

It’s become a bit of a trope to claim certain novels as “unfilmable” – that no matter what extraordinary efforts a director exercises, Blood Meridian, for example, will never be displayed on the silver screen. I’d always viewed these claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. We have a version of Cloud Atlas, after all, […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 61

Featured Artist: Jess Vieira

Jess Vieira is a rising star in Brazil. Her paintings and illustrations have been featured on book covers, in advertisements, and even in two issues of Vogue last year. Jess was born in 1992 in Brasília, and she now lives in Salvador, Bahia. She likes to work with as many mediums as she can, from […]

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Everything, interview, Issue 61, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Conversation: Briauna Taylor

Briauna Taylor is a queer poet, teaching artist, and seeker of magick in Portland, Oregon. She created and facilitated the youth writing programming and open mic series ‘Mind & Mouth’ with former radical youth non-profit MarrowPDX. She leads youth and all ages writing workshops across the city, most recently her newest project, Tender Community Garden. […]

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Everything, Issue 61, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Born in a Second Language by Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie

Born in a Second Language by Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie published by Button Poetry is a remarkable work of writing through in-betweenness of body and nation, mind and mother-tongue. Afiriyie-Hwedie balances the languages and nations her self has touched so carefully in this collection. The collection encomapsses an impressive spread of form and style — Afiriyie-Hwedie […]

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Everything, Issue 61, Poetry

The Things That Saved Us by Abby Bland

The things that saved us are the same as they ever were.The spring irises glazed with rain, puppies learning to walk,the feel of his hands in yours or his skin,or your own skin, soft against the bedsheets.The way water cools the throat and slakes thirst,or how a good meal softens and rounds the belly,the way […]

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Creative Nonfiction, Everything, Issue 61

Allopathy by Anoushka Kumar

(tw: medicines, sickness) I hate my mother. Not the kind of  flighty, tempestuous hate most teenage girls harbour for their mothers, but a different kind. Mostly, I hate her because I don’t know how to deserve a different kind of love. Women have nimble fingers. This makes plucking two leaves and a bud from an […]

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Everything, Issue 61, Poetry

Many of the Times by Benin Gardner

And some of the other times and the volleyball girls in milkglass socks beating reddened hands on rival eyes, well the orange tree is right there and if ur so hungry lie beneath it with ur mouth open catch some flies swat summer in the face and the sunset will go blushred fences in between […]

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Everything, Issue 61, Poetry

Ghoulia Yelps by Rachel Mehl

The neurologist tells me I’m intriguing, a specimento write about in her research.  She’ll change my nameof course.  It will help legions of doctors.  Tegretolis shaped like baseball diamonds and tastes like grapes.  After the seizure, I could not speak or type.Day one of Tegretol I float in space.  I bump into walls.Day two I […]

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Everything, Issue 61, Opportunities for Artists & Writers

Opportunities for Artists and Writers | July 2021

Liminal Transit Review – “a literary journal that publishes work related to themes such as (but not limited to) diaspora, immigration, displacement, borders, and decolonization.” Accepting poetry, cross-genre, and prose submissions. No fees. Deadline: July 31. Fahmidan – Digital chapbook series accepting submissions of poetry and short fiction collections by POC and women. No fee. […]

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Everything, Issue 60, Poetry

The Sun | Sophie Janus

I was reading about solar energy And the book said the sun is the most abundant source of energy available on earth And the sun said you mistake my everything for nothing And I said fuck And I said I know how that feels And my ex boyfriend looked down and said fuck And my […]

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Everything, Issue 60, Poetry

Mendel’s Lost Files | Maia Joy

a plant does not have thefunctional capacity toknowingly self-destruct; their chloroplasts do not choosewhether to accept the sunlightfrom which they photosynthesize— the sun, simply, says, “i love you,”and the plant says, “thank you,”and they continue on with their days. the plant does not apologizefor the support it accepts. itbreathes in, breathes out, and gives what […]

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Everything, Issue 60, Poetry

Habitual | Claire Denson

when the world said sink I sankI am in this way ordinaryI put pasta in the water watch it bloatevery time I think I’m new the old comes back like a stray I once fedimagine a well-read strange man I never get tired of my same storyI’ve tidied up my roomand left my inbox openin case he […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 60

Featured Artist: Gwladys Le Roy

Gwladys Le Roy is a 29-years-old French illustrator. She grew up in the south-west of France, near the sea, before moving to Paris. After a few years there, she decided to move to the US, where she has spent the past two years between New York and San Francisco. Gwladys works as a communications consultant […]

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Everything, Issue 60, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Pop Song by Larissa Pham

Somewhere near the middle of Larissa Pham’s memoir-in-essays, Pop Song, she starts a piece, “What we say without saying,” with a simple statement. “There’s a recording of James Blake covering Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’ live, on a BBC radio show, from February 2011,” she tells us. She goes on to describe Blake’s vulnerability […]

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