Discover something new.

“self-portrait with atmospheric river & cougar sighting,” “self-portrait with hummingbird & beaver moon,” “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know”

self-portrait with atmospheric river & cougar sighting


also called mountain lion also called puma ours numbered 22
all numbers spent Hollywood misses you mascara-smeared under a
Janus-faced storm 6 months 7 years & a half-century from where
my mother delivered a child whose name they misspelled
insisted on correction insisted on driving through August
sweltering drought-stricken uprising so her youngest
could arrive on time for once in her life could write one rainy
night the odd time a package arrived carrying artificial
leopard-spotted luxury lined with genuine Australian sheep-
skin—slipping them on my feet i imagine a worker named Iris
holiday-exhausted depositing Mercury retrograde all turquoise &
poppy in some other box my running shoes in exchange for animal
paws padding royal over parqueted oak slipping out the glass
door into the village green racing down coliseum over emptied
aquifers along cement-cradled floodwaters running wild through
boulevards of tar over guttered freeways traffic-choked
infrastructures roaring every lament into the ocean oh our ocean
river in the sky making landfall tonight your Pacific green eyes


self-portrait with hummingbird & beaver moon


hydrolic brightness i was once
a child constructing kingdoms
of branches & mud. each morning thick pelt
sprouted from my skin, each night i’d
begin again. novembers i stream
toward fullness more being
than industry. it’s said the smallest
of birds flies all night without stopping
departs at dusk with a flock of passerines
arrives the next day on warmer shores. wintering
young birds trace the same ancestral route
years into the future they alight
ruby-throated on the exact day in the exact spot
by what knowledge no one knows.




Have you ever wondered
where trails come from—

where the trailhead starts
slant rhyme by the road
listen for rattlesnake signage

chaparral & Saltgrass
the hands of a dozen
students carving a path

forward you walk
shin-scratched visitor
offered yarrow, Island Rush-

rose, tiny suns above Catalina Live
Forever—take care the coastal prickly
pear bee stung blossom carried over

by wind by wing by wave

Tomorrow you will swim
in an ocean you’ve lived by
all your life never knowing

of fish orange as buoys
under a July night lit
one direction by the city

the other by stories
you haven’t heard
since you were a girl—

Once upon a time there
lived an acorn on a cliff. Once
upon a time young humans

gathered in the shelter
of a Picnic Oak. One day
may you ride in an open truck-

bed, happen upon a lone
creature, bison-eyed traveler
who would know you anywhere—

Marci Vogel is the author of "At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody" (Howling Bird Press) and "Death and Other Holidays" (Melville House 2018).

Read More

More from Issue 8: Summer/Fall 2023


Morning Without School

by Caitlin Thomson


Dummy Ventriloquist

by Michelle Bitting