Now Accepting Submissions for Issue 3!

Wow. Thanks so much for an incredible first year! In our very first two issues, we published new writers from four different countries and more than a dozen US states. Now, submissions are now open for issue 3!

Visit our Submit page for details.

Submissions will close on March 31st at 11:59 PM. Late submissions will not be considered.

REMINDER: The City Quill is only for those who have never been published before. If you have previously been featured in any magazine, literary journal, newspaper, or anthology, please do not submit your (probably really awesome) writing. See our FAQ page with any questions.

Happy writing!

“ALMIGHTY JITTER COW” by Joshua Tree

Quesque c’est, Mon Dieu!
Regarde le posse,
Crusaders of the Night,
Sniffing out multiple mysteries,
While fornicating at campsites.

God is pure emotional bunk,
Vibrating under a sea of junk.
What made you cum?
What made you cum?

You have fucked your brethren.
To what did you cleave?
Hardly imaginary giant squid,
Baffled by the waves and the sea.

Lunging forward,
Into materialization now,
You have been grossly mislead.
You are the jitter cow.

You are the reformers,
Before the Reformation.
Behold bovine deportation,
Retrocausal indignation.

You are the almighty jitter cow,
Fishing off starboard bow.
Did you hear the Almighty call?
I can see Him atop the hill,
Doing his best to stall.

Please excuse God.
He is almost deaf.
He cannot hear you,
At the moment of your death.

When God goes unnoticed,
No one can hear Him.
No one can think Him.
Our Lord hides clandestine letters,
In the turrets of makeshift towers.

Tubal sugarcane thinking,
Juicy stalks and soft rinds,
Focused on the sweetness of the Lord.
Through the act of awareness,
We somehow cause His glory,
To shine upon us untoward.

Stop thinking too much.
Accept things just as such.
Close the Book of Interpretation,
Embrace the spirit,
Of rehabilitation.
Nothing is ever really over.

Listen, ballers.
Dey in da wind
Mere thing becoming,
Having fallen out of sin.

Expectorant coughing cup,
Catches phlegmatic flash friends,
Scattered in hazardous interrupt.
Intercept! Intercept!

Conspiratorial dissemination,
A call to darker inclinations.
Author of my clever ruse,
God gave me this life,
To physically abuse.

Don’t expect the cosmos,
To understand the mismos.
She forgets on purpose.
Skating on the surface.

Your genetic gearbox,
Comes directly from the ground.
From electric path to heavenly sound,
I am a son of Shiva.

I aspire to emerge with speed,
Into God’s most impish seed,
An extension of His lustful lingam.
That’s howz I sing ’em.

About the Author: Joshua Tree be Charleston born, a child of the Lowcountry raised with dolphins in pluff mud and sand, a modern storyteller with an eclectic hand. He practiced law in Manhattan and Los Angeles, but never perfected it. His fictional work of stanzas and prose is a rhythmic syncretism of Hindu, Shaivite, Tantric, Baptist and Anglican influences coupled with psychotropic enhancements to a polymorphously perverse imagination. He is the author of “The Attis Paradox: How To Die and Become a God”, a love story of homoerotic magical realism set on Folly Beach and based upon the ancient Roman mythology of Attis and Cybele. His blog posts appearing on Google Plus have attracted nearly 400,000 views. Josh has a calling, to explore the psychology of desire without fear or shame.

 

“Prayers from the Cellar: Sobibor, 1943” by Anne Adragna

Adonai,

You tell me first of my heart,
the frenetic beneath
my chest, so persistent it beats
even when I beg it stop.

I listen for you in the constant
pounding, fingers curled
to the dent below my collarbone,
but the darkness has grown
deafening. I cannot hear you.

The pounding is all I’ve heard for days;
the silence of this place.

*

Yahweh,

I never thought darkness
could be this loud.
We’ve been without light
for almost two days
and I feel fingers wrapped
around the back of my head
squeezing my skull,
pulling at my thoughts.

*
Jehovah,

My body has numbed,
tingling when I find the energy
to move. I imagine ladybugs
crawling across my skin,
reminding my heart to beat,
keeping me awake,
though I’m not sure why they bother.

I don’t think I will be here much longer.

*

My Creator,

Make me a garden.
Cut through the seams
holding my body together,
clean across my spine.
Unwrap my skin like a precious gift
although there is nothing,
only bones, left inside.

Arrange my bones like a bouquet,
my skin the soil they will sprout from,
make this my beginning.

I will be joining you shortly.

*

Lord,

It’s been RAINING for days
pressing on the wooden roof
trying to BREAK through
like Noah’s flood
we haven’t had water
since I lost track of time
my nails are bleeding
but the ceiling still won’t MOVE

*

My Father,

The cell walls are crumbling
I feel them tremble in my sleep
caving under the heaviness of light
we are hollow columns
skeletons with bloated stomachs

The walls in me have broken
the strings holding my body together
tearing in different directions
a flood has started
to escape we must stop swimming

*

god,

my head is on fire
i can feel it in the way my scalp
tingles but it’s too dark
to find the flame this darkness
is burning me whole
cage is on fire someone
turn on the goddamn light.

(why) can’t i hear you?

About the Author:
Anne Adragna lives in Charleston, South Carolina where she attends high school and bags groceries. This is her first publication.

“Bipolar” by Haley Moglia

16 nights fallen
Within my mind.
I had been entangled
With shadows that
Mimicked canopies
Of Trembesi trees.
Umbrella-like branches
Repelled every ray.

I’d been here before
Though I learned no
Way out.

Beyond my bed,
I saw no image.

I could not chatter like
Pigeons on the sidewalk or
Laugh like a woman
Who knows she is pretty.

I could not begin
To scream,
Like I had 16 nights prior.
When the laughter surrounded me.
Before the
Waves enclosed me.

So near I was to joining the ocean.
Yet the 17th morning sun rose

About the Author:
Haley is a 24-year-old Michigander living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Haley is a yoga teacher, a writer, a painter, a hiker, a skier, an adventurer. She loves to live and to watch others find their best life. Contact Haley at mogliaha@gmail.com and follow her on instagram: @mogs_haley.

“Saturn for the Worse” by Elizabeth Weibush

There’s an old man with a time-long beard
Whose feet are planted in the shadow of the hearth
Like perennials that have long since seen Spring;
The fire has ceased to crackle and sing, treble mute
In the once-full pot atop the stove; the only sound
Is a clock enchased with dust, shining yellow with
Nostalgia in the eyes of a sleepy sun, rusting the sky;
If the sky were an empress, she belonged to Rome,
To rise and fall as the old man’s chest and his
Time-long beard that shuddered with the telling
Of a joke that might have made sense centuries ago
When the stars shook with a belly laugh, and
He told her to look for Saturn through the lens;
An entire world was their engagement ring,
Lavish in a way only the incredibly distant can be,
But now he sits in all his impenetrableness,
The universe eclipsed by a ceiling, the laughter
Of having beaten mechanisms of fate echoing
In a mind spongiformed with dementia;
She shuffles behind him, lighting fires
As the sun whittles itself away, stealing glances
At a stolen man, a man who belonged to Rome
But had nowhere to go; he means to speak,
But the weight of his quilt, the weight of his skin,
The weight of her eyes quiets lucidity,
And he slips to that place only the very aged
And very young have been—the place
Glimpsed by love, where the planets are
Connected by wonder, and the sky
Is the breadth of a dream away,
And she shuffles behind him, putting the house
To rest, content to know where he has wandered
And where she can reach him when they,
At long last, are closed from the sky.

 

About the Author:
WeibushElizabeth learned to write poetry when she decided typing up her stories would take too much time, and 12-year-olds have important schedules. She began writing with a ratio of 10 adjectives to every noun and five adverbs per verb, but she learned the value of being very, really, absolutely concise. If it wasn’t for terse history professors, she never would have learned that lesson, so she is grateful for her pursuit as a history major. This educational path proved to be a roadblock when she started looking for a job in the real world—her 17 page paper on Atlantis did not impress hiring managers as much as she thought it would.   Despite setbacks, she’s chugging along, eking out the little inspirations in life and transmuting them in her mind. The future scares her, but she is very, really, absolutely positive that it will be okay. Definitely.