Everything, issue 58, Poetry

I HAD A DREAM YOU WERE LIVING IN MY WALLS | ISAAC

The worst part of the video:The wasp laying eggs inside the caterpillar. A small thing, aDefenseless thing, limbless,And a sharpness on top of it–Its beating wings, itstwitching abdomen, the footage playingDouble time,As to show the process quicker,As to not bore the viewerWith a death as slow as this. In my dream you came out of […]

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Everything, Issue 57, Poetry

trauma scripture | Savannah Slone

yellow balloons           heavenly release opening chair scene of juno pomegranate peel        post-smoke spit  i’m bleeding out, my legslowerbackintestines twinge, cramp and i can’t stand laugh breathe and i sob into the boiling shower floor.  hip throb. my wrists, ankles, knees, stiff fingers, spinal cord             coated, ember-encased. needled skin, set aflame, tamped out in bath water—a relit […]

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Everything, Issue 57, Poetry

Thirst Trap | Sarah Robbins

I do not trust myself  to be loved by a stranger, so I pose in lingerie for my close friends and wait for one of them to fall for it. Jo tells me i’m on queen shit and Ryan says that I’m iconic and someone inquires where I found my lime green lace. And I am full until the fizzing returnsin my belly, and reminds me what a […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 57

Featured Artist: Alice Cloutier Lachance

Alice Cloutier-Lachance’s work bears a striking resemblance to Francesca Woodman’s. Alice is an emerging Canadian photographer, and, coincidentally, she is friends with Monse Muro, whom we interview for our January 2021 issue. She creates mysterious, monochromatic photographs of her friends and family, sometimes blurred, so as to reveal just enough to keep us wondering. She […]

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Everything

My Boyfriend Wants Me to Love My Body | C. Zhanchi Ho

There’s a circle of—girls? women?—sitting on the floor in this unremarkable beige room, like they’re going to play a sleepover sort of party game. Which they are, it turns out. I think at least one has been styled in pigtails, leans across the circle to kiss one of her giggling friends on the mouth. I’m […]

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Art, Everything, interview, Issue 56

Featured Artist: Ludi Leiva

For this month’s interview, we talked to Ludi Leiva, a multidisciplinary artist based in the Pacific Northwest. Ludi (short for Ludmila) mainly works as an illustrator, and her vibrant illustrations featuring intriguing human figures have appeared in Vogue, them., Twitter, and exposed in the streets of New York. In addition to being an artist, she […]

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Everything, Issue 56, Poetry

alternate universe for Beverly Marsh by Emily Norton

Emily Norton is a 22-year-old poet and editor residing in Toronto. Her work centres themes of reclamation and honesty within lesbian identity and whatever hopeless romanticism comes up. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor. When she’s not writing, she’s probably watching Bob’s Burgers or playing with her cat. You can read more […]

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Creative Nonfiction, Everything, Issue 56

In Bermuda … by Stephen Foster Smith

In Bermuda, there are hibiscus plants blooming roadside under the uninterrupted sun; their petals are soft, blood-red bijous, pinpricks of bloodletting yielding forth from a small forest of dark green leaves; their harmless pistils strikingly clear; their stigmas and styles sitting a short distance ahead of their golden stamens. It is a miniscule, unassuming detail […]

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Everything, Issue 56, Poetry

Making Pumpkin Pie in July with You by Stephanie Choi

                        After Frank O’Hara is even better than making vegan pumpkin pie like I did last Novemberor filling my stomach with stone fruit samples at the embarcadero Saturday market partly because in your 19 year old you’re like raw almondspartly because of my affection for you, partly because of your affection for the jetboilpartly because of […]

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Everything, Issue 56, Poetry

Doxycycline by Rob Colgate

When they cleared out my gutI couldn’t do anything. I was staring at the ceiling blowing kisses. The ceiling ran away. My arms fell off in a very sexy way.It doesn’t matter. My legs  are the only part of methat I want to survive. Maybe that wasn’t direct enough. I am dying very soon. Even looking like […]

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Everything, Issue 56, Poetry

Photograph by Aditya Vikram

Aditya Vikram (he/they) is a queer poet and spoken word artist. They spend their Sundays writing and dancing on the terrace of a rented house in Lucknow, India. They won the Kommune National Story Slam last year, and have performed at several other regional and national festivals. Their work is published or upcoming in Verse of […]

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Everything, Issue 56, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Nudes by Elle Nash

Even from its opening sentence, Elle Nash’s new story collection, Nudes, shapes the reader’s expectations. “It began when she moved in below their apartment,” Nash writes, “or maybe it began a week after when the boyfriend came downstairs to ask for a cup of sugar for a cake, or maybe it began a week after […]

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Art, Everything, interview, Issue 55

Featured Artist: Monse Muro

Monse Muro‘s photographs are displayed in a beautiful layout on her Instagram page, whose description reads “borrower of souls for a click or so”. Monse also borrows time, inviting us to stop what we’re doing and take a moment to look around us. Monse is a Mexican-born photographer. She lives in Tio’tia:ke, Canada, where she […]

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Everything, Issue 55, Poetry

THEY by Joanna C. Valente

I sat and there a scatter         of bushes, earth & one         purple flower fled       like jazz notes, the station he listened to & something his fatherused to listen to, pre & post a lotof things. One night I asked if it hurt, his father & the silence& he said no, nothing ever        only hurts.        We continued to […]

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Everything, Issue 55, Poetry

Sister Self by Jory Mickelson

after Michael Garrigan Sometimes I thinkwe went therein a dream (together still) lodgedinside the sleepingbody of the boy I used to be. Jory Mickelson is the queer, nonbinary author of WILDERNESS//KINGDOM, the inaugural winner of the Evergreen Award Tour from Floating Bridge Press and winner of the 2020 High Plains Book Award in Poetry. Their publications […]

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Everything, Issue 55, Poetry

SPECTROSCOPY by Elane Kim

I have told you this before.There are no beginningsto be found here. Here,there are only reflectionsof birdsong in passing wind,only layers of ash in place ofsky. Should your body unravel,it will do so in layers.Be sure to catch the bonesas they fall. Stop waiting for signs.That is to say, stop listeningfor blood. You must understandthat […]

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Everything, Issue 54, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Pushcart Nominations 2020

The VCL team is thrilled to announce our nominations for the 2020 Pushcart Prizes! Creative Nonfiction: – Girls and Other People by L Scully– Homegrown by Iris Yu Poetry: – Reverend K.F. Lord Reveals The Spectre Of Newby Church, 1963 by Cassandra de Alba– Unremembering by Kavi Kshiraj– Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104 by Esther Sun– nightmares […]

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Everything

Meritocracy by May Hathaway

I have a recurring nightmare in which I never grow up. Every day I am further away from being a child. Sometimes I do not sleep because it saves time and sometimes I do not sleep because I can avoid nightmares. This, I think, is self-sufficiency. In my recurring nightmare, I take two hours to […]

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Everything, Issue 54, Poetry

chasm by Ariel Horton

her home-bleached hair, the strong smallness of her,the slippage of her soft walk in the rain,today this girl reminded me of you—the thrumming weight of how I wounded yousomehow inside the curve her shoulders made.I watched her blue shoes stir up limpid poolsof cloud-water, and my expired want  for you mixed itself in, gasping and soaked.last […]

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Everything, Issue 54, Opportunities for Artists & Writers

Opportunities for Artists & Writers | December 2020

Adroit Journal Gregory Djanikian Scholarship: “We annually recognize six emerging student or non-student poets as Gregory Djanikian Scholars. All emerging writers who have not published full-length collections are eligible (regardless of age, geographic location, or educational status), and are encouraged to submit. Writers with forthcoming debut full-length collections are eligible so long as collections won’t […]

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Everything, Issue 54, Poetry

The Good Kind by Blake Z. Rong

I ain’t the good kind of Asian. I’m the onewho disappoints you. I see it in your eyes when we go out for sushi and I forget what nigiri is. I feel it across your tattoos I’ll kiss someday:  koi fish samurai and fisherman’s wiveswide-eyed cats with claws outstretched characters faded indecipherable, strewn like wreckageacross your […]

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Everything, Issue 54, Poetry

Bitter Pastoral by Gabrielle Grace Hogan

next thought—isolation is a beautiful syringe. next thought—when i went to Chicago that summer i took the train.  Illinois is a whole lot of nothing. neutered landscapes in a lilting breeze. grain silos round as asses.  Midwestern topographies are bargain-bin paintings everyone wants hung in their bathroom, which is to say  something, probably. maybe i like to be […]

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Everything, Issue 54, Poetry

Fentanyl by Zachary Bond

            for Ryan Home in timeto watch a drunksun stumbling. It flashes its pink ass & jetslike little crucifixescross the sky: I know such audacity, the needto burn & then beburnished, the urge to vanish: I’ve drivenoff the road with darkintent. It’s just my hands that spared me.It’s scary, being so closeto the mirror you […]

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Everything, Issue 54, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Requisite by Tanya Holtland

Tanya Holtland’s debut poetry collection, Requisite, opens with a preface that softly urges the importance of spiritual ecology, which seizes my attention immediately. She advocates for the harmony and healing of nature, and caring for the earth as an extension of ourselves. She stages a lyrical political battleground of environmental crisis and the draining of […]

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Everything, Issue 54, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Cut Woman by DENA IGUSTI

Cut Woman, from small-press Game Over Books in Boston, is Dena Igusti’s debut collection. Their work is at its best in its play with space. Engaging with the trauma of female genital mutilation, the loss of her people, desire, and patriarchy, Igusti’s poems are varied in form but often united in their modes of fragmentation—apt, […]

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Everything, Issue 54, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

Favorite Things 2020

It’s been such a difficult year. As it comes to an end, the VCL team wanted to highlight some of the art, writing, and other things that brought us some joy and comfort this year. Clémence Chouteau, Art Editor 5 Things That Made 2020 Kind Of Okay   1. FUNNY WEATHER: ART IN AN EMERGENCY BY […]

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Everything

Join the Vagabond City Team — Call for Interviews Editor

We have a new opening for one volunteer position: Interviews Editor. See below for application details. Interviews Editor: We’d looking to add an Interviews Editor to our team. The position would be extremely flexible, with the general responsibility of pitching, conducting, and writing interviews with poets and writers. We’d like to publish interviews as often […]

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Art, Everything, Issue 53

Featured Artist: Jade Delmage

This month’s featured artist, Jade Delmage, is an emerging British artist recently graduated from the University of Brighton. Jade’s work exists in a multitude of forms that all have in common a kind of playfulness, from her “weird videos” (as she herself describes them) reminiscent of David Lynch’s early short films, to her colorful paintings […]

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Everything, Issue 53, Poetry

Aubade by Aiden Heung

The arch of the sky keeps pulling; no forecast of rain;Over us clouds undeveloped into silk chaining east to west. Above the tedious skyline the early sun brings colorsbrings news of a warm day. But we’ve become too lazy to imagine better days than this,both you and I, perched on the park bench,watching the brittle shadow […]

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Everything, Issue 53, Poetry

potassium to water by Sal

do you want to see a magic trick?would you like to try swallowing me whole?have you ever peeled open a tangerine?it’s like that, only you keep going, until there’s nothing leftbut infernos, do you see?can i ask you one more question?will you still kiss me when i look different?will you? will you? will you? how […]

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Everything, Issue 53, Poetry

Coventry by Eliza Browning

Summer again like a switchblade in my throat. We were girls then, gamboling in glades thick  and honey-sweet with clover. All of it belonged to us: the dusky purple scent of the tobacco fields,  the cicadas buzzing in the chest-high grass, the sleepless meadows only our feet tread.  We rinse the lake water from our hair and dream long […]

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