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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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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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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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 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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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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Everything, Issue 43, Poetry

AFTER IMAGES by EUNICE KIM

split my lip for the innocence i knowlies beneath: i think i almost drownedthis summer & the swimming pool wherei tried is on fire now. this body feelsstrange & hollow, halfway between anexhale & something else. i want sunsets.i want rooftops. i want to be uninhabitable,light falling through an open window. need to be something […]

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Everything, Issue 43, Poetry

IN A MOMENT CLOSE TO NOW by E. KRISTIN ANDERSON

after Neko Case When I find the morning I pull it from the groundand whisper an invocation. Across these counties, I’ve left myself motherless, let myself bear the name emergency when I kick up dust. The name ghost when I’m out of breath. But even in this apocalypse every constellation bears your name. And in […]

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Everything

Favorite Things 2019

To celebrate the end of the year, our team wanted to share some of the things we enjoyed reading most during 2019. Clémence Chouteau, Art Editor: 5 BOOKS I READ IN 2019 THAT I WILL KEEP THINKING ABOUT FOR YEARS 1. THE WATER CURE, SOPHIE MACKINTOSH (2019)  “We hold hands very tightly, so we can […]

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Everything

2019 Pushcart Prize Nominees

We’re thrilled to announce our nominees for the 2019 Pushcart Prize: El Bahr, El Barh, El Bahr by Leena Aboutaleb Gloria In Excesis Dyke by Levi Cain Distilling Discomfort by Hadiyyah Kuma Mom by Heo Su-gyeong translated by So J. Lee Birthright by Natalie Wee One Day I Will Drink the Whole Sky by Cynthia […]

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Everything, Issue 43, Poetry

BY PROXIMITY by DEON ROBINSON

I would like to believe we live forever, and when I say forever,I mean we live longer than our favorite song.Don’t let anyone tell you forever has to feel so guilty, so strained, a cauterized theory of letting go.I haven’t the language to hope you get home safely,but I have the muscle memory of holding […]

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