Naoko Fujimoto

2011/06/01 § 3 Comments

Japanese poet Naoko Fujimoto on lipstick and when we two parted. 

for y.h.

– on When We Two Parted

There is a bathtub in the parking lot.

I’m falling in love with an abstract
painting, you tell me. Your body

hisses in an August rain. We collect
dead cicadas in the bathtub

and sketch them for hours.     This is a Tokyo
summer, 1993. A dandelion’s white seed softly

lands on the balcony. The cat
slashes open the window screen.

There is your head hanging by a curtain rod.

I don’t know how to live,
your mouth opens wide.

Dark and beaded rain
falls into the bathtub. I want to chop

off the cat’s legs and hollow
out its eyes. I’m craving

your warm body. Cicadas sing their silver song.


after the tsunami in Japan

-on lipstick

You have no father,
my mother said & wiped
my neck with a long
towel; I smelled the lavender
soap: bubbles on her
cheeks: the outline of her
lipstick: dark
purple around her lips;
they were unlike mine; I wanted
hers; I hated the garden
scent; no
lavenders please, I said;
just muddy
on blue vinyl sheets
at the flower
shop; sand & pebbles filled
my mother’s mouth; I bit
my lip: tasted blood.


Author Biography

Naoko Fujimoto was born in Nagoya, Japan. A recent poem of hers is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika. She is currently working on poems about the Tohoku Earthquake, tsunami, and  the ensuing nuclear crisis. Her spirit is always with the people in Japan.


A Letter from the Editor

2012/06/23 § Leave a comment

Happy Anniversary.

Born in June 2011, this is the fifth issue of Unshod Quills.

We are privileged to infect you with even more contagious art and literature. Don’t wash up after looking at this issue; touch everything you can and spread it like the filthy little contagion it is. Please see the front page for a list of contributors to this issue.

A year? A year.

Over the past year, we have published hundreds of poems, stories, essays and images. We took part in producing the Shanghai Tunnels Project and next year will branch out to words on paper. Print. Yes.

We are holding a modest fundraising effort toward the beginning of this end. Please follow this link for more information or to give. Donate. 

You’ll help us continue to do what we do, featuring such contributors as Maria Garcia Teutsch, Helen Vitoria, Donald Dunbar, Shanna Germain, Gregory Sherl, Tim Tomlinson, Ginger wRong Chen, Renee Reynolds, Meg Tuite, Kevin Sampsell, Sean H. Doyle, Jamie Iredell, Zachary Schomburg, Riley Michael Parker, Gregory Crosby, Naoko Fujimoto, Chloe Caldwell, Emily Kendall Frey, Dayvid Jann Figler, Mary Ann Sullivan, Frank Reardon, James H. Duncan, Eva Steil, John “Sugahtank” Roubanis, Bjorn Wahlstrom, A. Molotkov, Jamie Gusman, Raudiel Sanudo, Jeff Pike, Tammy Stoner,  Catherine Platt, Jason Mashak, Cooper Lee Bombadier and too many additional fine artists and authors to name. We pride ourselves in publishing both emerging and established artists and writers.

We are happy you are here with us.

Here’s to another year.

Yours in gratitude,

Dena, Wendy, Donald, Holly and Brian

Unshod Quills
Portland, Oregon
Intercourse, Pennsylvania
Las Vegas, Nevada

Submit to UQ

2011/06/10 Comments Off on Submit to UQ


Themes for Issue Eight:

Envy–Epitaph–Bras–Sugar–Comic Book–Life Cycle

Unshod Quills seeks submissions of  poetry, photography and video poetry based on themes assigned by the editors. Adherence to our themes is totally open to the interpretation of the artist or writer, but each submission must be linked by the contributor to one of the themes.

Past contributors have included  Tammy Stoner, W.M. Butler, Catherine Platt, Helen Vitoria, Stephen Caratzas, Mike Meraz, Meg Tuite, Kevin Sampsell, Sean H. Doyle, Jamie Iredell, Zachary Schomburg, Riley Michael Parker, Gregory Crosby, Timothy Gager, Naoko Fujimoto, Chloe Caldwell, Renee Reynolds, Ginger wRong Chen, Emily Kendall Frey, Dayvid Jann Figler, Mary Ann Sullivan, Penina Finger, James H. Duncan, Eva Steil, John “Sugahtank” Roubanis, Bjorn Wahlstrom, A. Molotkov, Jamie Gusman, Jeff Pike, Jason Mashak, Cooper Lee Bombardier and too many additional fine artists and authors to name. We pride ourselves in publication of both emerging and established artists and writers. Please submit.


We will respond to all work prior to the publication of the next issue, with a typical response time of one month. If you have not heard back from us within two months of sending us your work, please contact the editors. We receive a large volume of submissions per issue, and cannot take all the work we are offered but take great care to respond to each submission we receive in a timely manner. We regret that we cannot offer individual feedback on submissions we cannot use, only notification of our decision.

Please read guidelines closely before submitting. By submitting your work, you agree to the following conditions:

Submissions not conforming to guidelines will remain unread.

All submissions must be made according to the current posted themes.
Simultaneous submissions are permitted.
Be sure to indicate for which theme each submission is intended.
We regret that some special formatting cannot be replicated on the website. Please be advised to keep it simple as possible.
Submissions made outside posted reading periods will remain unread.
Your name and email address should be attached to page one of your submitted documents.

Size limit: 1000 words for poetry per theme, one poem per theme; one video per theme (not to exceed 10 minutes in length); and two images per theme.

One piece may be submitted per theme per issue, not totaling more than 1000 words per theme.  All poetry submissions should be made as one document, using the font Times New Roman in a WORD.DOC or PDF

Video poetry must be hosted on a site like youtube or vimeo.
Copy and paste the URL to your video poem onto a WORD.DOC or PDF.
Be sure to indicate for which theme the video poem is intended.
Poems not to exceed ten minutes in length.
You may submit up to one video poem per issue. 

Literary fiction and personal nonfiction/essays by editorial solicitation only.

Please submit up to two images per theme.
Submit as a jpg up to two photos per theme.
Photos exceeding 150K will not be considered. 

Unshod Quills holds First North American Serial Rights for the material we select to publish. The copyright reverts to the author upon publication, which will occur within three months of acceptance. Unshod Quills  retains the right to publish and reproduce the work on electronic or website publications and to authorize third-parties that reprint Unshod Quills to publish and reproduce the work online. Unshod Quills retains the right to promote your published work online and in print, by linking to it, mentioning it and/or quoting it.

By submitting your work to Unshod Quills, you certify that the intellectual property in the submission belongs to you and/or any co-authors, and if the work was previously published, that you maintain the copyright. Please email the editors at prior to submitting previously published work, outlining the place and date the work was published, and including any applicable links. Do not send previously published work until an editor responds to your email.

You also certify that all co-authors have agreed to being published by Unshod Quills according to the Terms and Conditions described here, and that the work is not libelous or defamatory.

In the case of translations, please confirm whether you have copyright clearance and/or the author’s permission.  Any violations of these agreements are the sole responsibility of the person submitting the work.

Unshod Quills is on Duotrope. We appreciate your feedback to Duotrope.


All submissions should be made via sub mishmash.

click here: Submit to Unshod Quills

If, however, you reside in a nation that blocks access to submishmash, you may send an email to Dena at dena at haliterature dot com for instructions regarding alternate methods of submission. When doing so, please indicate your nation of residence.

Submissions are not accepted outside posted reading periods.

Thank you for your interest.

We urge all to submit. We are pandemic. You are pandemic, too.


2011/09/08 § Leave a comment


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