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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Everything, Issue 53, review, WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

In Review: Dogteeth by Levi Cain

Your body is a temple; so sayeth the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. In Boston-poet Levi Cain’s first chapbook Dogteeth, now on its second printing via Ursus Americanus Press, the body is more prismatic: it’s “a house / with newly washed floors,” “a pool to drink from,” or “an apartment / condemned by god.” This […]

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Creative Nonfiction, Everything, Issue 52

Girls and Other People by L Scully

One sends you a flower when your grandmother dies. A single yellow rose. For companionship. Red is for passion which wouldn’t have been appropriate. One invites you into her dorm room to eat cereal when you think you are bisexual. You imagine kissing her, small-town lips in this big city night. One wears a dress […]

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Everything, Issue 52, Poetry

when you gave my name to the cops by L. R. Bird

what did you think would happen? did you imagine my arrest as a movie?            cheering spectators? cuffs conveniently jangled? hands blooming victory-sign?instead, i’ve just got all this hard-won anger. before you gave my name to the cops,            did you flashback on our white-lie crimes? our teenaged beach-streak? smirkingbehind salt-rimmed drinks in whichever bar was too […]

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Everything, Issue 52, Poetry

a shallowing by Janelle Cordero

maybe death isn’t deep and wet and cloying like / a well maybe death is /a shallowing a / drying up / think of the pond that forms / in the valleyfrom snowmelt in the spring think of how / it shrinks with each hot /summer day by august / it’s gone maybe our lives […]

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Everything, Issue 52, Poetry

the same god who told me being gay was a sin when i was eight sold me t on the down low ten years later by Em J Parsley

tell me it was gentle,             like when my mother brushedthe hair from my forehead and said,                         if God wanted you to fly, He would have calledyou Icarus                                                 and with her feverish           fingertips                                                running through my roots I asked,                                                         do you want to be                                             Daedalus?  [name added to “when I transition” list: Icarus]  —  I wanted to give […]

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Art, Everything, interview, Issue 52

Featured Artist: Weronika Marianna

Weronika Marianna is a Polish artist and designer based in Amsterdam. Her paintings and animations of abstract female figures in pastel colors have attracted clients such as Netflix or Elle Magazine, and she has co-created Szajn, an online space promoting art by women. Weronika discussed her work, her inspirations, and the importance of change with […]

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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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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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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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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, 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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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, 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 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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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

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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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 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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